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41 schools report coronavirus in Berlin

At least 41 schools in Berlin have reported students or teachers are infected with the coronavirus — not even two weeks after they reopened in the German capital.

Daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung published the numbers on Friday, and the city’s senate for education confirmed them to The Associated Press.

Hundreds of students and teachers are in quarantine, the newspaper reported. Elementary schools, high schools and trade schools are affected. There are 825 schools in Berlin.

The reopening of schools and the risk of virus clusters building up there and spreading to families and into communities has been a matter of concern.

Masks required in hallways but not classrooms

Berlin was one of the first places in Germany to reopen schools after summer holidays. Children are obliged to wear masks in hallways, during breaks and when entering the classroom, but they can take them off once they sit down.

Some critics say the measures in Berlin are too relaxed, and both students and teachers should wear masks.

Students arrive at the Friedensburg Oberschule school for the first day at school on Aug. 10. Berlin was one of the first places in Germany to reopen schools after summer holidays. Children are obliged to wear masks in hallways, during breaks and when entering the classroom, but they can take them off once they sit down. (Michael Sohn/The Associated Press)

Coronavirus cases in Germany have been going up again since late July, driven by returning vacationers and social events.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday there are too many different regulations in place across the country, and “people simply don’t understand” why they’re allowed to do one thing in Berlin that may be banned in Bavaria.

On Friday, Germany’s disease control centre registered 1,426 new cases. According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, Germany ranks No. 20 in the world in confirmed cases with 231,626 and No. 16 in deaths with 9,264.

WATCH | How effective are masks in keeping schools safe from COVID-19?

Doctors answer questions about schools reopening during the pandemic including how effective masks are in keeping schools safe from the spread of COVID-19. 6:34

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