More primary school classes being sent home because of coronavirus
The primary school system is seeing an increase in the number of classes having to remain at home due to coronavirus infections, ANP determined based on contact with many local GGD health services and primary school organizations. "Since the middle of last week, the suppressive effect from the autumn holidays has ended and we are seeing more infections among school children," said GGD Zuid-Holland Zuid.
The Et Buut primary school and the Freekids daycare in Zaandam will completely close temporarily due to a high number of infections. The childcare center confirmed this after reports by De Telegraaf and Hart van Nederland. The daycare and the school are under the same organization, Zaan Primair, which was not available for comment.
"On Monday, all students and teachers are welcome to return, provided they can show a negative coronavirus test from the GGD," board chair Brigit Schumacher told Hart van Nederland earlier. About thirty students and a quarter of the 35 teachers are said to have tested positive.
Since Thursday, GGD Zuid-Holland Zuid has advised about five classes to go into quarantine. "Before that, the numbers were lower," said a spokesperson, who could not provide precise figures.
Also in Friesland, classes are now being advised to stay at home with more frequency. "On Monday that applied to eleven groups. Two weeks ago it was about one a day," according to the local GGD.
In the Gelderland-Midden region, the number of classes that had to be quarantined doubled to thirty last week compared to a week earlier. This could be due to the fact that the school holidays had only just ended in part of the region, according to the GGD spokeswoman. Classes of older students have been sent home in particular.
Also in the Zuid-Limburg region, where the pressure on healthcare is greater than in other parts of the country, the GGD has seen an increase in the number of classes that are staying home. Last week there were eight. There were five the week before, and two before that.
Umbrella organization INNOVO, with more than 45 primary schools in southern and central Limburg, has also noticed since the holidays that the number of infections "is increasing in many schools." A spokesperson estimated that a total of about ten classes are now being homeschooled, with about two being added every week.
It was "the first time in a long time" that a class was sent home from one of the sixteen primary schools managed by the Catholic education foundation SKBG in Gelderland. "We occasionally had an infection, but it was not necessary for an entire class to go home," said a policy officer from the educational organization. The students of this group were given a Chromebook laptop to be able to participate in lessons from home.
In the event of multiple coronavirus infections in a class, schools discuss with the local GGD whether it is necessary to quarantine a class. This is often with at least three infections in a class. School boards can also decide for themselves whether to send a class home and provide temporary home education.
The RIVM reported on Tuesday that last week almost 10 percent of the infections whose source is known took place at school or a childcare facility.
Reporting by ANP.