Are educational institutions ready for COVID-19 checks?
In Moscow, as part of the experiment, schoolchildren will be tested for coronavirus. From October 14, ten educational institutions of the city will conduct express testing for COVID-19 once every two weeks. This measure will avoid the closure of schools and interrupt the chain of the spread of the virus. Students get sick more and more often and continue to infect their parents, said the head physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko. According to him, testing will detect and prevent infection. Are the schools themselves ready for this? And can parents refuse? With details – Ivan Koryakin.
The authorities have made it clear more than once: there are no plans for mass school closings, as was the case in previous waves, because then many parents will have to return to remote work, and this already looks like a lockdown – not an experience that I would like to repeat.
But some have to: because of the coronavirus, children are transferred to distance learning in whole classes, says the director of Moscow school number 109 Yevgeny Yamburg: “Children from the holidays on September 1 came from different cities, resorts, as a result, six classes have already gone into quarantine. Thank goodness two classes went out. But if the children were tested, we would have saved a lot of people. “
The overall morbidity is also growing, and in many respects, as experts say, thanks to schools. The coronavirus rises from the bottom up: asymptomatic children infect people at risk, many of whom are unvaccinated. Minors are not yet vaccinated, so testing under current conditions is the only option to curb the increase in incidence, says Mikhail Kagan, leading scientific editor of the vrachu.ru service:
“The good thing about the test system is that it is fast. And if it gives a positive result, in most cases it means that the person is infected.
But, of course, it is less accurate than PCR, since it can give a higher percentage of false negative results. But still, 70% of those infected will be identified and isolated. This is important in order to bring the epidemic under control, because there is nothing else. “
While express testing will be carried out in ten schools in Moscow. The authorities did not specify their numbers, but recalled that this practice is widely used abroad. And in Moscow, most likely, it will also scale up, said the mayor of the capital Sergei Sobyanin: to ensure the normal operation of schools. “
The test itself is simple and safe – a swab is taken from the nose with a cotton swab, and the result appears within 15 minutes. They will test every two weeks without prejudice to the educational process. If the result is positive, the student will be sent home to await a full PCR test. They will also check the parents and only after that they will decide whether to send the whole class to quarantine.
You can refuse, but then the test results will have to be brought from the laboratory or clinic. Arguments with parents will for sure, but the director Evgeny Yamburg is trying to persuade them even before the launch of the general testing: “Such a procedure can be carried out only with the consent of the parents.
But many simply do not have the realization that this is very necessary, so you have to convince.
So far, only pilot schools have been identified in Moscow. We didn't get there. However, we do not wait, I have already started doing this work with my parents. “
A similar express test was launched in shopping centers and the MFC. The scheme is the same: if the result is positive, the patient is sent home to wait for the doctor to do a full PCR. With the vaccination campaign stalled, this is the right step, experts say. Only testing should be truly massive, and organizing this, and even on a voluntary basis, may not be easier than vaccination.