Covid-19: at primary school, the health protocol will be relaxed to limit class closures

Test rather than close. This is the strategy chosen by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, in the face of the outbreak of the fifth wave of Covid-19. The passage from level 2 to level 3 of the health protocol, which would have meant a return to courses partly at a distance in high school, was not retained at this stage. Conversely, it is good to reduce the protocol that will be implemented at school, when the number of closed classes has dropped from 4,000 to 8,500 in one week.

Read also Covid-19: the number of classes closed in France at the highest since the start of the September school year

Since the spring, a case of Covid-19 resulted in a class closure. This will soon no longer be the case. “We are pursuing two fundamental objectives: to keep schools open while protecting the health of students and staff”, says the minister. Concretely, when a student contracts the virus, a systematic screening of the whole class will take place. Two methods will be possible, depending on the local context: either a laboratory will come to carry out the tests, or the parents will go to have their children tested.

This new “Tracing protocol” will be implemented gradually from Monday, November 29 and “Will really become widespread on December 6”, do we know Rue de Grenelle. Closures will nevertheless be pronounced, we explain to the ministry, with a certain vagueness, first of all by the time the students return ” gradually ” with the result of the negative test or if the regional health agency judges that “The situation demands it”. To return to class, a sworn statement will no longer suffice. You must present the negative result of the test, free for minors, whether antigenic or PCR.

” Good news “

These announcements are based on an experiment announced in early October in ten departments – Aisne, Ariège, Côte-d’Or, Landes, Manche, Morbihan, Moselle, Rhône, Val-d’Oise and the Var. When a case of Covid-19 is detected there, a team must go to the site to carry out the tests. “This device shows its relevance, but its methods must be adapted. According to the departments, the reactivity capacities of the laboratories are not the same ”, notes Jean-Michel Blanquer.

In the field, the feedback on this experiment is indeed mixed to say the least. It would have avoided 140 closures of classes in Val-d’Oise, according to The Parisian. But for Olivier Flipo, school director in Cergy-Pontoise and delegate of SE-UNSA in the department, “Carrying out saliva tests on time has not always been possible because the laboratories are overwhelmed”. The experiment had other setbacks. Rose, mother of a CM1 student in Toulon, paid the price. “The health technical unit of the academy was not able to travel”, she relates, still furious. In the Rhône, 179 classes were closed Wednesday, November 24, we also assure SNUipp.

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Covid-19: at primary school, the health protocol will be relaxed to limit class closures