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At least 41 schools in Berlin report coronavirus cases

At least 41 schools in Berlin report coronavirus cases
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As COVID-19 cases surge across Germany, at least 41 schools have reported infections in students and faculty less than two weeks since the semester started.

Hundreds of teachers and students are in quarantine, while some schools in the country are still on summer break, The Associated Press reported.

On Thursday, Germany reported 1,586 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 fatalities. Wednesday saw 1,707 new cases.

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The possible risk of growing virus clusters has made reopening schools a contentious issue within the country's various education systems.

Because the federal government does not manage education in Germany, schools in each of its 16 states have imposed their own measures.

Berlin, one of the first cities to resume school in the country, enforces compulsory mask-wearing but allows students to remove their masks once they sit in their assigned seat.

Some critics have argued that Berlin's school pandemic measures are too relaxed and should require masks all day for students.

The German government has prioritized keeping schools open even as infection rates rise across the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday part of the problem with enforcing pandemic measures is the issue of different rules for each state, adding that plans are underway to impose one country-wide set of safety rules to combat COVID-19.

Despite the recent surge, the overall number of daily cases is down significantly from an April peak, which saw the country reporting nearly 6,000 new infections each day.