Recently, various sources of infection have emerged in schools. This often concerns the more contagious corona variants from abroad. To prevent more of these outbreaks, there will now be a specific testing strategy for schools.
Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA) has proposed a new testing strategy for education. In addition, students and teachers who have had a high-risk contact will immediately be offered for a rapid test. If there are suspicions of a cluster contamination, a mobile test team will also be called in.
The most recent outbreaks of the British corona variant in our country can be linked to schools. In addition, there is usually one infected student in that class who quickly infects his or her classmates and their parents. In this way, one infection can spread quickly and cause a cluster infection that goes beyond just the school.
For the time being, the reaction of many schools is to close immediately, but Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA) now wants to do something about this. As a result, a new test strategy will be introduced for education, whereby rapid tests are immediately available in the event of contamination in a school. There is an immediate result on these tests and can therefore quickly be intercepted. The tests will be conducted by volunteers from the Red Cross in collaboration with the CLBs.
The first rapid test is taken on the first day on which the contamination occurs. Then all involved pupils and teachers are quarantined for seven days. A PCR test then follows on the seventh day. Anyone who tests positive for the rapid test must be in isolation for ten days.
Suspicions of clusters
If there is a suspicion of a cluster contamination in a school, a mobile test team will be called in. This will be delivered by bus. This means that not only all students of a school can be tested, but also other residents of the affected municipality.
In this way, action can be taken quickly at clusters and the damage can be limited. The new rules will take effect tomorrow and will result in many more children being tested for the corona virus. “We will continue to do as much as possible to keep as many schools open as possible,” Minister Weyts emphasizes. “That is precisely why we take decisive action where necessary with measures geared to the local situation and this on the basis of the applicable plans. In some cases this means the closure of one or more classes, in other cases even an entire school. ”