Friday, January 21

Covid-19. Tests at school: more cases but half the number of closed classes

The number of classes closed due to Covid-19 this week stands at 4,578, or 0.9% of classes in the country. A figure, above all, down by half compared to 8,890 classes closed last week, since the Ministry of National Education has changed protocol in the meantime.

Fewer closed classes, more positive students

According to the new rules, since November 29, there is no longer a class closure in kindergartens and primary schools in the first case of Covid-19 detected in a student.

In principle, the detection of a case should result in testing the whole class. Therefore, only positive students continue their education at a distance, the others can return to school. On the other hand, from three cases in a class, this one is closed.

With this new “method”, 33,550 cases were confirmed this week among students (or 0.27% of total students) and 2,145 among staff. The previous week, there were 21,976 cases of covid among students and 1,562 among staff.

This change in protocol, however, raises many questions: first, that of the date of the tests. Examples are already frequent of students with a negative test on the day of the detection of the first case … but positive several days later.

In the meantime, these infected, contagious, but not yet detectable students have spread the virus, inside and outside the classroom.

Still very insufficient tests

On social networks, testimonies are multiplying, which point to the nonchalance of parents – the test falling, most often, for themselves – or even the difficult application of the protocol:

The choice not to close schools leads us, inevitably, to fuel the epidemic

Dr Damien Mascret

In fact, the incidence rates among children attending school but not eligible for vaccination, in other words those in kindergarten and primary school, are exploding. Partly because we are screening a little more, but not only: the positivity rate is also reaching new heights.

An epidemic “carried” by children

The epidemic is therefore today largely “carried” by children aged 0 to 11, unvaccinated, sometimes unmasked for the youngest (under 6), and spending their days in a community.

The incidence rate reaches or even exceeds 1000 among 6-10 year olds in some departments.

The new National Education procedure was accompanied by an increase in the number of saliva tests carried out: 227,717 between 22 and 29 November, against 190,487 the previous week.

The 6th year students have been encouraged since Monday to carry out two self-tests per week.

On the other hand, the objective of 600,000 tests per week brandished by Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer for months has never been reached, far from it.

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