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Corona outbreak among preschoolers: ‘Rapid testing and vaccination really needed now’


A corona outbreak among the youngest children at an Amsterdam primary school, last week, is causing concern among school leaders and teachers. “Rapid testing and vaccination can all be a bit smoother,” says the General Education Association (AOb). “Gas on it, so we can keep teaching.”

All primary schools will be fully open again from Monday. The OMT thinks this is justified, but at primary school Oostelijke Eiland in Amsterdam, children and teachers were infected in four of the six kindergarten classes last week. In one class, half of the students turned out to be positive.

In 12 percent of schools, one or more classes were sent home in mid-February. This concerns approximately 0.2 class per school, which is approximately one class per five schools. This has emerged from research by the General Association of School Leaders (AVS). On average, about six students per school are in quarantine.

Turbulent issues

AVS chairman Petra van Haren: “It is the first incident that so many children have been tested positive in a kindergarten, it also has to do with the British variant, which has never happened before. If this continues, we will have a an issue we had never had to deal with before. We look forward to at least six months of turbulent issues, and maybe even longer. “

The school leaders fear major consequences for education if something does not change quickly. “We have had a year in which nothing was normal, and with the British variant, the testing policy that is not in order, and the education that does not yet have a place in the vaccination strategy, we are not yet through it”, says Van Haren. .

Pilots

Next week, pilots with rapid tests for teaching staff will start at five primary schools. These tests are used preventively, so without any known contamination. In successful pilots, the aim is to deploy rapid tests within three months for all teaching staff in primary education, the ministry confirms today.

The Education Association is appealing. “We rely on the experts, but education staff deserves a place in the vaccination strategy and the availability of rapid tests must be speeded up seriously. The incident in Amsterdam underscores what we have been saying for weeks,” says Tamar van Gelder of AOb. “Also test small children with every snot bubble.”

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