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Face-to-face school course and with a mask, and the campaign against the flu is advanced

The return to the classrooms in September will be face-to-face, with a mask from 6 years of age and stable groups, according to the measures approved this Thursday by the Government and the autonomous communities that have also decided that the school will close only when there is “a uncontrolled transmission ”. In addition, the flu vaccination campaign is brought forward to the first half of October

These measures to resume the school year with the coronavirus pandemic have been adopted in the extraordinary and online meeting of the Multisectoral Conference on Education and Health, with the counselors from both areas, and the presence of the Ministers of Education, Isabel Celaa; of Health, Salvador Illa; and Territorial Policy and Public Function, Carolina Darias.

At a press conference, the ministers presented the document agreed by the autonomous communities, with 29 measures and 5 recommendations, which seeks to guarantee the return to school in a safe, healthy and sustainable way despite the virus and a classroom activity at least until second year of ESO.

The Minister of Health has ensured that the obligation to wear the mask in schools from the age of six can be reviewed depending on how the pandemic evolves, so that “if in a week there were a situation that would allow this measure to be relaxed I would adopt ”.

These are some of the measures:

The educational centers will be open throughout the school year as long as the epidemiological situation allows it.
The mask will be mandatory within the center from 6 years old and in school transport also for children between 3 and 5 years old.
Temperature taken before the school day either at home by the parents or at the entrance to the center, as organized by the autonomous communities. And an appeal has been made to parents not to take their children to school with a fever.
Stable coexistence groups are established, bubble groups, up to the second year of primary school and contact with other groups will be minimized.
A minimum of hand hygiene at least 5 times a day, both with soap and hydroalcoholic gels.
Ventilation of the facilities, better open windows whenever possible and if not at the beginning, end and breaks for at least 10-15 minutes.
Cleaning and disinfection of the facilities, especially bathrooms and places of most use.
Dining rooms with interpersonal distance that will be 1.5 meters. Students will have permanent positions throughout the year.
There will be a person in each center responsible for anti-COVID actions.
The personnel who work in the center will reduce their stay in the center to the essential and will promote the telematic realization of non-teaching activities that allow it.
It is considered an outbreak with three cases and the school is only expected to close when there is “an uncontrolled transmission”
When a positive case is detected in a bubble group, all its members are isolated and if it is in a normal class, the narrow cases are followed.
People who have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will not go to the center, whether they are part of the students, teachers or other personnel.
Suspicious case will be any student or worker of the center with a clinical picture of sudden onset acute respiratory infection of any severity that occurs, among others, with fever, cough or feeling of shortness of breath.
If a person who develops symptoms in the center will be fitted with a surgical mask, they will be taken to a separate space, and the person responsible for managing COVID-19 at the educational center and family members will be contacted.
There will be four scenarios about outbreaks that may involve the closure of classrooms in the school itself: if it occurs in one classroom, if it is detected in several classrooms with no epidemiological link, if it is in several classrooms with an epidemiological link and, finally, if it appears in the context of an uncontrolled transmission.
Faced with an uncontrolled transmission in the center, the public health services of the communities may decide to temporarily close the center (it will not be necessary to have the approval of Health or hold an Interterritorial Council as the Government first proposed), initially for 14 days .
The infected students must remain in home isolation and the contacts must be identified so that they can be quarantined.
No criteria are established on the indiscriminate performance of PCR diagnostic tests, it is feasible when the school is located in an area with the presence of cases.

The flu vaccination campaign is advanced
In addition, at this sectoral meeting it was agreed to bring the flu vaccination campaign forward to the first half of October (usually at the end of that month).

The first to be vaccinated will be those over 65, those who are younger but are exposed to risks, and professionals from essential public services, such as health workers. Nursing homes will be a priority.

According to the Minister of Health, it is intended that the coverage rate is 85% in the elderly and 60% in pregnant women and people exposed to risks.

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