Covid-19: Thousands of students return to schools today, many with vaccination started

There are new isolation rules regarding positive cases in schools

Photo: Flávio Costa | Sul Informação

Thousands of students return this Monday, January 10, to schools, many of them with vaccination started during this school break. 

This return comes after the evolution of the pandemic forced an extra week of vacation at Christmas.

The changes to the school calendar, in an attempt to contain the growth in the number of infected people, were announced by Prime Minister António Costa on 25 November, when it became known that schools would stop in the first week of January and that those days would be compensated with the withdrawal of two days of vacation during the Carnival break and three days during the Easter break.

Right at the start of the Christmas break, on the weekend of December 18 and 19, 95.752 children between the ages of 5 and 11 were vaccinated with the first pediatric dose of Pfizer against covid-19, in what was the first period of exclusive vaccination for these ages, now covered by the vaccination process.

The second exclusive period took place in the last four days, between the 6th and 9th of January, with the mornings reserved for the vaccination of children between these ages, and on the first day close to 50 thousand children were vaccinated.

The afternoons of these days were reserved for teachers and other professionals from the school community, to be vaccinated in an 'Open House' regime, by scheduling and obtaining a digital password, which on the first day sold out.

In addition to the 49.100 children vaccinated on the morning of January 6, around 23 people from the priority group of the school community were vaccinated in the afternoon, in addition to around 4.900 professionals from daycare centers and ATL.

According to official data, more than 150 children were scheduled for vaccination against covid-19 in the last four days.

For the rest, schools reopen today with new rules regarding the isolation of classes when a positive case is detected.

A new rule by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) has revised the obligation to isolate entire classes when there is a positive case, a measure that pleased school directors.

Only children who live in the same house as someone with covid-19 are considered high-risk contacts, so they are isolated, as they do not have a vaccine booster.

Also a child with a contact with a positive case at school is not in isolation, asking parents to reduce contacts and socializing and that these children, depending on their age, wear a mask.

Children who stay in school take a test on the third day.

Regarding tests, in December the Ministry of Education announced that teachers and school staff will be tested at the start of the 2nd school term, anticipating that the process is completed by the end of the second week of classes.