The start of the second quarter of the 2021/2022 academic year arrived last Monday 10 with the novelty of a new quarantine system for the classrooms of educational centers in which there are several positives for coronavirus. The Public Health Commission decided during the Christmas holidays to end the quarantines of the complete bubble groups in Early Childhood and Primary Education when there are less than five cases in the classroom. With the new rule, quarantines will be carried out in a class when there are five positives or those infected make up 20% of the students in that group. If the cases are lower than these parameters, they will be considered sporadic and therefore quarantine is not recommended.
Following the adoption of this measure by the Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities, it was reported that this measure would begin to be applied last Monday, when classes restarted. However, five days later, schools in the Canary Islands continue to quarantine under the parameters established at the beginning of the school year, to the consequent bewilderment of parents.
The Ministry of Education expects to inform the centers today to change the protocols
The management teams of the centers maintain that they have not received any official notification so far from the Ministry of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands informing them about the update of the protocol to carry out the quarantines and that is why they continue to act as they did before the Christmas break . Sources from the Ministry of Education acknowledged that this notification has not yet occurred but they hope to be able to inform the centers on Friday the 14th or, at the latest, at the beginning of next week. Until that moment arrives, they affirm that the correct thing is to continue with the quarantines in the way that they were done at the beginning of the course.
After the resolution issued by the Public Health Commission of the Interterritorial Council on January 7, the Canary Islands now have to adapt this decision to the Canarian context and to the school context, in particular. The relevant meetings have already been held and the protocols of the Archipelago have already been drafted, so it only remains to write the letters to send them to the schools.
The measures change as the pandemic evolves in the country and in the educational field
Pending this notification, there are currently curious situations in the classroom Canary Islands, as is the case of a class in which a child tests positive for covid and his entire group is confined, while the brother of the infected person, who has tested negative, can lead a normal life.
The Health Commission justified the adaptation of the action guide in the face of the appearance of covid cases in educational centers as of the 10th due to the accelerated increase in community transmission of the virus, but highlighting that it has been shown that the proactive closure of educational centers “has been shown to have a negative impact on the level of development and education of the population in the learning stage, in addition to having a possible impact on other more vulnerable population groups.” Thus, both the Government of Spain and the Autonomous Communities emphasize the importance of maintain presence in classrooms, “regardless of the epidemiological situation.”
In any case, the authorities insist that “schools are safe environments” and justify the decision to relax quarantines in classrooms to also reduce “the impact on family and work reconciliation”.