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Three Days After Opening, COVID-19 Outbreaks Close Six Greek Schools

Αssociated Press

A teacher explains to pupils how to use the face masks, to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus, at a primary school, during the start of the new school year in Athens, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, Pool)

ATHENS - As some teachers and critics had warned, the New Democracy government's gambit to open schools during the resurging COVID-19 pandemic in Greece has led to six being closed because of outbreaks of the Coronavirus, but it wasn't said if it was in the schools or their neighborhoods.

Schools across the country opened on Sept. 14 after a spring lockdown and the return was inauspicious to say the least, many students being given masks big enough to cover their whole faces, leading the manufacturer to stop making them after government officials said information on sizes was confusing.

Three of the schools – in the Athens suburb of Kaisariani, in Voutes in Iraklio on Crete and in Pyrgos in the Peloponnesian region of Ilia – were ordered shut until Sept. 27 but it wasn't said whether lessons could be done remotely or classes have to be made up at a later time.

Two schools in Kallithea near central Athens and one in Alexandria in Imathia, northern Greece – were ordered shut until Sept. 18 and Kathimerini said it wasn't clear whether students, teachers or staff at the six schools are infected.

Under the existing guidelines for schools, a single case in a school would not prompt closure of the entire facility, just the department affected but details were sketchy although worry remained about the spread of the virus.