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Saliva testing for all teachers at municipal schools in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek

The municipal authorities in one of the places hardest hit by the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Belgium, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek (Brussels), has carried out saliva testing for COVID-19 on all 1,200 staff at its municipal schools. The municipality in the west of the capital has a large network of municipal schools offering education though the mediums of both French and Dutch at primary level and through the medium of French at secondary level. 

Although saliva testing is not as reliable as other forms of coronavirus testing, it provides speedy results and this is exactly what the municipal authorities in Molenbeek want.

The Alderman responsible for Dutch-medium education in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Jef Van Damme (Flemish socialist) told VRT News that "All the teachers were tested on Wednesday and Thursday. We opted for saliva tests because you can carry them out yourself. No doctor is required. By using saliva tests were don’t place extra strain on the traditional testing capacity and the advantage is that we know the results quickly. We will be expecting the results during the coming days”.  

Mr Van Damme added that he and his colleagues in the municipal cabinet whan to gain a general picture of the situation in Molenbeek’s schools.

The aim is see if certain schools have higher infection levels than others so that the necessary measures can be taken.

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