Infected teachers quadruple during Christmas


The advance of covid through the omicron variant continues unstoppable and also sneaks into Canarian classrooms. Despite the fact that the quarantines in the groups have been relaxed with the start of this new year, the situation is complicated in some centers, where the lack of teachers who are on sick leave forces the management teams to carry out authentic juggling games so that This does not affect teaching. This is a reality that is repeated throughout Spain but, in the case of the Canary Islands, the positive cases among teachers have quadrupled during the Christmas holidays.

The Ministry of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands reported yesterday that 883 Canarian teachers were positive for coronavirus on Monday, when the second quarter of this school year began, in public, private and concerted educational centers of the Archipelago, where a total of 31,265 work. teachers today. This translates into the fact that 2.8% of these professionals are on sick leave, while on the last day of class of 2021, on December 22, this data was only close to 0.6%, with 189 teachers positive for covid .

Confined classrooms increase, with 108 currently, 46 more than last week


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Therefore, the number of teachers affected by the virus quadruples, which has forced the Ministry of Education to work against the clock to cover all these losses and that teaching can continue to develop normally. However, the hiring of reinforcement teachers at the beginning of this school year already allows the centers to face the first casualties after the Christmas holidays.

As for students, the numbers of minors affected by the virus after the holidays have also increased. On December 22 there were 894 positive students in the Canary Islands, which represented 0.26% of the sick student body, while on Monday there were 2,717 sick minors, which translates into 0.8% of the total of 337,810 students that exist in the Canary Islands.

While the educational centers and the Ministry of Education itself try to solve the difficult situation that occurs after returning to class, the spokesperson for the Popular Group in the Parliament of the Canary Islands, Australia Navarro, considers that the high incidence of the omicron variant makes it necessary “adapt health protocols in schools to the new reality of the pandemic” and regrets that the face-to-face return to classrooms is carried out “without a contingency plan to prevent the possible increase in casualties among teachers.”

For the return to class after Christmas, the Canary Islands, like most Autonomous Communities, have opted for scrupulous compliance with the anticovid protocol, for continuing to promote the vaccination of students and for families not to take their children to class if they observe symptoms compatible with the virus. However, quarantines in classrooms have been relaxed since, until now, fully vaccinated students who were close contacts of a positive were exempt from quarantining, and those who were not had to respect a period of seven days. With the start of the new term, the quarantine for an entire classroom will be carried out when there are at least five cases of covid or at least 20% of the students are affected, in a period equal to or less than seven days.

Fully vaccinated students will not be quarantined, regardless of the number of cases in their class


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Despite everything, Australia Navarro considers that the Ministry of Education should adjust the protocols to the current situation and study whether the measures adopted at the beginning of the course are still valid at this time. In this sense, it proposes to recover some of the measures applied in the past year and that gave such a good result to guarantee safety in the classrooms, such as, for example, the reduction of ratios, provision of adequate protection material and reinforcement of the teaching staff.

For its part, ANPE Canarias called for urgent measures in schools to address the new health reality in the classroom and "avoid chaotic situations." The union proposes actions to deal with this scenario, such as improving the tracking of infections, prioritizing the vaccination of the third dose for teachers, increasing the staff of reinforcement teachers to be able to attend to students, having a telephone service for manage teacher leave and carry out the vaccination of children between 5 and 11 years old only in health facilities enabled for it.

ANPE considers that the treatment of educational professionals is not being adequate and understands that, without extra measures, decisions such as reducing classroom quarantines pose a health and educational risk for the entire school community, but also for the rest of the school community. society since they will contribute to continue saturating primary care. In this sense, the union stated that on Monday, the first day of class after Christmas, "teachers said they felt disoriented and demanded more official information and advice from the Administration."

Vaccination in voluntary schools

Despite the good pace of the vaccination campaign in the pediatric population in the Canary Islands, the health authorities, in collaboration with the educational authorities, are considering the possibility of reinforcing this plan with inoculation in new spaces, such as educational centers. The Minister of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuela Armas, explained yesterday that "health centers should be the places where the vaccine is administered", but added that in the current situation "we must all pitch in" and for that reason He explained that his cabinet does not rule out the implementation of a pilot project so that the vaccination of the pediatric population in the Canary Islands is carried out in some educational centers. However, he clarified that these spaces will have to volunteer to participate in this program and the Public Administration will never impose the implementation of the vaccination campaign in educational facilities that do not want it. Armas added that this proposal will only be implemented in the capital islands, since the rate of vaccination in the rest of the territories is so good that it will not be necessary to set up new spaces. | PG

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