Minister of Education says second phase of Covid testing in schools is "more demanding"

By TPN/Lusa, in News, COVID-19, School · 16-03-2021 16:30:00 · 0 Comments

The Minister of Education admitted today that the second phase of testing for SARS-CoV-2 in schools is more demanding, because it requires repetition of the tests 15 days later, in municipalities with more than 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.

"Fifteen days later there will be new tests (...) in the counties with more than 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days", said Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, who followed the beginning of the second phase of tests at the Basic School / Kindergarten Telha Nova , in Barreiro, as part of the covid-19 pandemic control measures. “We started today the new process in which there is a sweep of all teaching and non-teaching staff, now kindergartens and first cycle - in daycare centres will also happen - and then, when the new levels of education begin to enter , this sweep will also be carried out ”, he added.

According to the Minister of Education, there are more than 50 thousand people who will be tested in this first week of the second phase of testing in the public schools of the 1st cycle of basic education, which must be followed by daycare centers and private schools. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues recalled that testing in schools started on 20 January, when classes were still open, testing teachers, non-teachers and secondary school students, and that, throughout the period in which the host schools were functioning , a total of 65 thousand tests were carried out.

“Obviously, in this whole process the first scan - and if you remember what I said was that everyone who starts their activity, teaching and non-teaching, is tested for the first time and also secondary school students -, in total we have a universe of more than half a million people to be tested in this first scan ”, he said. "It is, at heart, an important action to assist the efforts of public health authorities, in what is a collective effort, also individual, to be able to mitigate the spread of the virus", said the government official, who also underlined the confidence of those in charge of education, which practically adhered 100 percent to this return of children to schools, daycare centres and kindergartens.

The testing campaign in schools started today in daycare centers, pre-school and 1st cycle and by Friday all teachers and non-teachers of these levels of education must have already carried out the covid-19 diagnostic test. The `Laboratory Screening Program for SARS-CoV-2 in daycare centers and educational and teaching establishments, released last week, provides that the resumption of face-to-face school activities requires a rapid antigen test for teachers and non-teachers in all levels of education. In the first to suspect - day care centers, pre-school and 1st cycle - the testing of more than 50 thousand workers in public schools and private establishments should be completed by Friday, according to the plan established by the Directorate-General of Establishments School (DGEstE).

Screening takes place in the schools themselves, but DGEstE asks that, whenever possible, focus only on the school that houses the group, where employees of the nearest daycare centers can also be tested. In the remaining levels of education, the screening starts on the first day of return, that is, from 5 to 9 April for the 2nd and 3rd cycle, and from 19 to 23 on the secondary, where, in addition to teachers and employees, students will also be tested



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