When schools reopen, teachers with symptoms will have to be tested. “If they test positive, they will be quarantined at home for a fortnight. Testing all students is not realistic, ”says microbiologist professor Herman Goossens.
Professor Herman Goossens (UZ and UAntwerp) calls for a large stock of test kits to be set aside for when schools are fully or partially reopened.
“Detecting and quarantining potential virus spreaders as quickly as possible is a top priority. If we don’t, the virus will continue to spread, ”says the microbiologist and president of a European consortium of medical experts who deal with the epidemic every week.
Teachers who are ill can infect colleagues, but also people from their private environment. Children who become infected can take the virus home.
Testing all students is not realistic, according to Professor Goossens. “That would lead us too far. It is impossible to test indefinitely. In addition, according to research so far, children are said to be less contagious. So let us start with the teachers. Whoever has the least symptoms should be tested. If that test is positive, the teacher in question must be quarantined immediately for fourteen days. That should suffice because after about ten days people are usually no longer contagious. But it is better to take a margin here and not take any risks. ”
“As far as children are concerned, the precautions must be strictly followed at school,” says Professor Goossens. That means making sure that they keep a sufficient distance and that they maintain thorough hand hygiene. Anyone who is sick or has symptoms should stay at home.
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