Fast tests at schools with suspected corona

Flemish education minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) has promised systematic testing at schools where a corona outbreak is feared.  If an outbreak is suspected pupils and teachers who had high risk contacts will be offered a fast test on Day 1.

Mr Weyts is responding to the increased number of schools affected by coronavirus. If the fast test is negative a PCR test follows on Day 7.  Meanwhile the pupils and teachers affected are to quarantine.

“The advantage of fast tests is the fact that there is an immediate result.  In this way super spreaders can be identified and cluster outbreaks can be stopped or limited”.

Mobile teams will be deployed when clusters are suspected.  These teams can quicky take samples for PCR tests.  Both Antwerp and Ghent University Hospitals now possess such teams.

Primary school children who were in contact with an infected pupil now become high risk contacts where they were low risk contacts until now. 

“We’re doing everything we can to keep as many schools as possible open” says Mr Weyts.  ”Twenty of Flanders 4,000 schools are currently completely closed, thirty are partially closed. Never say never, but in most schools, there are no major problems and we don’t have to close these schools.”

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