Rwandan and Malawian authorities shut nurseries and schools on Monday as coronavirus cases surge.
Rwanda closed schools just in the capital Kigali but the education minister said schools in other regions would also shut if more cases are confirmed there.
It comes after schools reopened in November after eight months of being closed.
The country has reported more than 11,000 cases and 142 deaths since the outbreak.
Malawi said it would shut schools for at least 15 days and announced all bars will also close at 8 pm.
After reporting no positive cases for almost two months, the country has seen a sudden resurgence.
Malawi reported over 12,000 cases and some 300 deaths since the pandemic started last year.
Authorities said a third of those deaths were reported in the past 16 days.
The president said the government was allocating a further $2m to provide healthcare staff and equipment.
Africa has reported over 3.1 million cases and more than 76,000 deaths.
The millions of coronavirus vaccine doses secured by the African Union are unlikely to emerge on the continent before April.