POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Minister clarifies school responses in case of infection



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Education minister, Claude Meisch, pictured, said on Frday that his ministry and the health department will continue to monitor the infection rate in schools and would provide an update in a few weeks 

Education minister Claude Meisch (DP) announced the measure’s extension in a televised conference on Friday, 10 days after public schools reopened in Luxembourg.

At the same time he clarified the procedure for quarantine and isolation of pupils and students based on three potential scenarios.

Scenario 1

In the event a child or young adult in a single school or educational institution tests positive for covid and the school is convinced the infection occurred outside of the school or educational facility, young people who have spent time with them will not be obliged to quarantine. Instead they will have an alternative teaching programme and will be isolated from other students. They will also be expected to wear a mask (depending on their age). All members of this group will be tested.

Scenario 2

If there is a second or third case in a single school or educational facility, the management will analyse the transmission chain to decide if a quarantine will be required.

Scenario 3

If it is clear that the young people were infected in a school or an educational facility, supplementary measures will be taken, including quarantine.  

113 infections since the "rentrée"

Meisch said that analysis of figures from before the summer break suggested that most infections of learners occurred in the home. “There are cases in school we cannot exclude but it’s not the main pattern we’ve found. That’s why we’ve 3 different scenarios to leave no chance for the virus to spread,” he said.

In provisional figures shared on Friday, Meisch said that at state primary schools there had been 60 infections since 15 September, of which three occurred in the same school or class. There were 31 cases in secondary streams, of which two involved students from the same class.

In private schools, there were 13 cases in primary under the first scenario, and four cases in the third scenario. “That seems to be documented and where scenario 3 applies we will test and probably take additional measures,” Meisch said. He refused to name the schools concerned, stressing the figures were provisional.

From 1-15 September, there were 139 infections among students and pupils, from 15-25 September, the provisional number was 113 cases.