The new covid era arrives at school: the bubble groups mix again

EFE Madrid

The new phase of the pandemic reaches educational centers, where from now on
the stable coexistence groups will be able to interact with each other also indoors, except for the dining roomand in which the advice to stay home in the face of symptoms of any acute infectious disease will prevail, not just covid.

This is stated in the update of the document
«Prevention, hygiene and health promotion measures against covid-19 in educational centers» approved at the last meeting of the Public Health Commission and to which Efe has had access.

The general directors of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and of the communities argue that, after the improvement of the epidemiological situation, it was necessary to review the measures in educational centers as they have also done outside them, measures that
“should be consistent with physical distancing and other non-pharmacological public health decisions in the community”they underline.

Although they warn that the new recommendations
They will be updated when necessary, if changes in the epidemiological situation so require or new scientific evidence arises«.

In this way, they propose a series of actions to limit contacts at the current alert levels 0, 1 and 2, although,
"In the event that the Autonomous Communities enter higher risk levels, specific measures will be assessed."

Interaction of stable groups in all educational stages

The first is to allow the Stable Coexistence Groups (GCE) to interact with each other in all educational stages both outdoors and indoors, except in the school cafeteria or spaces enabled for eating.

Even primary education will be guaranteed
"when necessary, the tightness in all the activities that are carried outwithin the educational center, avoiding interaction with other groups, limiting the number of contacts as much as possible; In return,
«within the group it would not be necessary to keep the interpersonal distanceso its members can socialize and play with each other, interacting more normally«.

In addition, at this stage, “ideally, the number of adults who interact with each group should be minimizedbeing the fundamental figure the tutor or tutor«.

If they are vulnerable,
“The same recommendations indicated for the rest of the areas by the reference health professional will be followed”; At-risk students "will be able to go to the center, provided that their clinical condition is controlled and allows it, and rigorously maintaining protection measures, unless medically indicated not to attend."

Family Access

Hereinafter
families will be allowed access to both indoor and outdoor spaces, both for the entry and exit of students and for other activities, avoiding crowds.

are also allowed
individual tutoring meetings with families indoors well ventilated, although, in general, "it is recommended that meetings with families in the open air be prioritized."

Masks

The elimination of the mask in interior spaces also extends to schoolswhere they should only take it on school transport or if symptoms appear.

As a general rule,
not recommended for children under 3 years (contraindicated in children under 2 years of age due to the risk of suffocation), people with some type of illness or respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated by its use.

Also for people who, due to disability or dependency, do not have the autonomy to take it off, or that present behavior alterations that make its use unfeasible, as well as in activities in which wearing it is incompatible.

People with vulnerable conditions will follow the recommendations indicated by their health professional.

But he emphasizes:
“The stigma of people who, with risk conditions for covid-19, must be taken care of and prevented. or by personal decision, continue to use the masks in any environment of the educational field, regardless of whether or not the use of them is mandatory“.

What if there are symptoms?

In general, it is recalled that attendance at the center is discouraged when a person presents acute symptoms compatible with covid
"or other acute and potentially communicable infectious disease." "This measure is also justified by the well-being of the child population," justifies the protocol.

The educational center will inform, "explicitly and with confirmation of receipt of the information", fathers, mothers and other parental figures, or older students, that the students
"with any acute symptomatology" of this type of infection "refrain from going to the educational center". They will be able to return "with an evident improvement in symptoms" and if they have not had a fever in 24 hours.

It is recommended that exercise caution for 10 days after symptoms start, avoiding contact with vulnerable people, wearing a surgical mask, maintaining proper hand hygiene, not going to crowded events and limiting contacts to those groups with whom you usually interact within the school.

If the person begins to develop symptoms in the center and is minor,
"A surgical mask will be placed and the family or legal guardians will be contacted"; if they are adults and are well, they will go home avoiding contacts on the way. In case of serious symptoms or respiratory distress,
will call 112.

Ventilation

The protocol highlights the importance of guaranteeing adequate ventilation, preferably natural:
«Cross ventilation will be ensured permanently, with doors and/or windows opening opposite each other or at least on different sides of the room». It is more advisable to distribute the opening points of doors and windows than to concentrate the opening in a single point.

At a minimum, the facilities and corridors must be ventilated
for 15 minutes at the beginning and at the end of the day, during recess, and whenever possible between classes; If a thermal discomfort occurs,
“natural ventilation must be prioritized and other measures must be established to improve the ambient temperature or personal«.

If natural ventilation is not enough, you could opt for forced ventilation (mechanical, same systems as air conditioning), and if this is not possible either,
«filters or air purifiers could be used (equipped with HEPA filters)« or use alternative spaces.

Excursions and outings

Outdoor activities will be prioritized.
In case of visiting museums, cinema, theaters, etc. the preventive measures established by the place in question will be followed; if they take place in the center, external people may attend as long as prevention, hygiene and health promotion measures are maintained.

For the celebration of graduation ceremonies, end of course or other types of social or cultural events, the prevention measures against covid-19 will be complied with for cultural events in the autonomous community.

The overnight outings will be organized by GCE, and in those courses not organized by GCE, fixed subgroups will be established for the overnight stay.

Vaccination is still recommended

The evidence shows that vaccination in the child population "would reduce the burden of disease in this group and can reduce transmission in the family environment, in educational centers and in the community, contributing to the protection of the most vulnerable populations."

Countries like ours, with high coverage, continues the document, "can achieve a greater benefit for the control of the pandemic with childhood vaccination,
being able to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by up to 16%«which is why the importance of continuing to recommend it continues to be emphasized.

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