Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Teachers claim exhaustion over changing measures as test to stay measure starts (updated)

rapid test σε Δημοτικά Σχολεία rapid antigen te
File photo

Teachers complained on Monday they were exhausted with all the changing measures they have to adapt to over coronavirus as the test-to-stay measures started in schools.

The system began on Monday on a ‘pilot basis’ and may change depending on the epidemiological picture, the ministry of health announced.

The ministry and the scientific advisory committee agreed on the measure in an effort to keep schools safe and students in class.

Oelmek head Costas Hadjisavvas said that reactions to the new measure will only be clear on Tuesday. “However, I can already say that teachers are exhausted by all the procedures and rules they have to follow,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

“They really don’t want to be involved in something that could put their and the students’ health at risk,” he added, referring to the allocated places where students will need to wait for their test results.

The test-to-stay measure is only for students who are identified as close contacts of a confirmed positive case and have not completed their vaccination regime. Those who have or have recovered from Covid within 90 days do not have to self-isolate. Adherence to the measure is optional.

It means students will take a rapid test for six days after being named a contact on their way into school. They will wait in an allocated place and once gaining a negative result will be allowed into class.

Close contacts who chose not to follow this measure will have to isolate at home for ten days or seven if a negative PCR is produced on the seventh day.

The measure concerns only schools and affected students cannot attend afternoon activities, the ministry said. They are also not able to go to school on the bus.

“No one understands the logic behind the measure,” Hadjisavvas said. “The best thing to do would be rethink the measure altogether, as it puts the health of everyone in schools, teachers, students and other staff members, at risk, in particular people who already have health issues.

“There is great concern among teachers as to who will be in charge of escorting students to the separate testing rooms, in which both people who test positive and negative will share the same space, ending up with everyone becoming contacts,” he concluded.

On Monday, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas is scheduled to meet the heads of secondary and technical school unions Oelmek and Oltek.

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