Parents confused, fear infection spread in schools: If a student testes positive for Covid-19, the whole class doesn’t go into isolation, only the students with whom they had contact with

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If there is a student who is positive for Covid-19, the whole class does not go into isolation, but the students with whom he was in direct contact and students who did not wear a face mask. If a student is diagnosed with Covid-19, the school notifies the epidemiological service at the Center for Public Health in the municipality where the school is located. The epidemiologist conducts a survey with teachers and students to assess the degree of risk based on the contacts they have had and then makes a decision on isolation.

After a break of 54 weeks, on September 1 this year, students in Macedonia returned to school for in-person learning. With the return to school, the joy of the students returned, but the fear of the parents about the spread of the Covid-19 infection increased, especially since at the beginning of September, the numbers of new Covid-19 infections and deaths were constantly growing.

The Minister of Education and Science Mila Carovska said Wednesday that the number of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday is down compared to Monday.

So far, there are no indications that the learning model will have to change, but we’re prepared to act if the situation takes a turn, she said.

She says that our obligation in times of a pandemic is to survive, but so is the obligation of students to acquire knowledge and skills that will help them live and work in the future.

But what happens when a Covid-19 case is reported in a class? What does it look like in reality?

If it is confirmed that a student is infected with Covid-19, the epidemiological service at the Center for Public Health is notified, which should urgently conduct a survey with teachers and students to assess the level of risk based on the contacts they had and then decide whether all students in the class will go into isolation and continue classes online.

And hence the confusion, who will go into isolation? The one sitting with the positive student, the one in front of him, the one behind him, a whole row, or just those who did not wear face masks? There are various experiences with isolation solutions in schools. Somewhere only a few go into isolation, somewhere the parents do not let the children go when they hear that there is a student who tested positive for Covid-19, somewhere the whole class. A parent meeting is usually convened to inform the parents about the situation in the class.