Saturday, May 21

Covid-19. How many contaminations are there really at school?

Since the start of the school year in January, contaminations in the school environment have continued to soar: several hundred thousand per week, in particular among the youngest, namely 3-5 year olds and 6-10 year olds, very little vaccinated.

Very few vaccinated among young children

Indeed, vaccination has only been open since December 22 from the age of 5, and remains extremely low in France: only 2.4% of 5-9 year olds have received at least one dose of vaccine, as well as 7 .2% of 10-11 year olds.

For comparison, 83.7% of 12-19 year olds are vaccinated – they can be since June.

In mid-January, brandishing the results of the first week, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer estimated that there were “around 50,000 cumulative positive cases” among the students.

A total of 47,453 cases have been reported among students on lifts from January 3 to 6 at 1 p.m.

The Ministry of National Education

That is few, very few compared to the total of 12 million students: less than 0.5% of them.

A real figure eight times higher

Except that this figure was obviously not the right one: for all of the age groups concerned, Public Health France pointed to a total of 398,137 infections for the single week of the start of the school year. That is… eight times more than the 50,000 advanced by the Minister! It is difficult to consider that Friday January 7 alone – not taken into account in the ministry’s figure – is sufficient to explain this difference.

In its update of January 14, the ministry also ended up publishing a very different figure: more than 330,000 contaminations identified, and therefore almost seven times more than the “about 50,000 cases”.

According to the ministry, all of the contamination affecting the school does not go back to the ministry:

National education is not authorized to have access to and keep the health data of pupils and staff, which are in essence confidential. The ministry works on the basis of the declarations that are reported by the academies

The Ministry of National Education

Thus, specifies the rue de Grenelle, “students and staff who do not declare, to the institution, to be positive are therefore not counted in the weekly point of the ministry”.

Public Health France, it goes back all the positive tests by age group.

Lifts not a priority

Another problem: the succession of health protocols, the confusion that resulted from it, and the very strong spread of the virus in schools. Consequence: in many establishments, the escalation of cases is not the priority of the staff, who try, first, to ensure the reception and education of the pupils.

Finally, the age groups are also a little different: Santé Publique France gives indicators in 10-year groups (0-9 years, 10-19 years, etc.) when the ministry focuses on groups corresponding to 3- 17 years old, i.e. from the start of compulsory schooling to civil majority

In other words, the others are not counted by the Ministry of Education – whether they are positive or not.

For the second week (from January 10 to 16) 2022, latest data available, Public Health France has identified 312,000 contaminations among 0-9 year olds and 460,000 among 10-19 year olds. That is a total of 772,000 infections among people under 20 who are admittedly not all in school.

4 to 6% of students infected… every week

Santé Publique France, on the other hand, disseminates the incidence rates for each of the “school” age groups. However, the numbers of each of them makes it possible to calculate the number of corresponding cases quite precisely – with a small margin of error in the case of 15-17 year olds, the oldest not being systematically educated.

According to INSEE, on January 1, 2022, there were 2.231 million children in France aged 3 to 5, 4.087 million aged 6-10, 3.429 million aged 11-14 and finally 2.558 million aged 15-17.

Thanks to the incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 individuals over 7 days), we can thus calculate for the week of January 10 to 16:

  • 153,000 children aged 15 to 17
  • 196,961 students aged 11 to 14
  • 226,542 students aged 6 to 10
  • 96,713 students aged 3 to 5

have tested positive. i.e. a total of around 673,000 pupils, still quite far from the official figure communicated by the Ministry of National Education, namely more than 463,000 for this week, which already represents nearly 4% of students.

The incidence rates, which vary from 4,300 for the youngest to nearly 6,000 for the oldest, correspond to 4 to 6% of infected pupils… each week.

A thousand children hospitalized

The Ministry of National Education recalls, however, that its data is certainly incomplete, but faithfully reflects the epidemic dynamics:

When the contamination curve increases at the national level, the numbers of students and staff declared positive in our numbers increase simultaneously, and vice versa.

The Ministry of National Education

Since the start of the school year in January, as throughout the month of December, the curves have soared. Each week, 4 to 5% of students test positive.

Among them, a stable proportion of severe forms, but an exploding number: in total, a thousand of them are today hospitalized for Covid-19. In the vast majority of cases, it was the Covid alone that required hospitalization.

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