Schools reopen as nursing group calls for longer quarantine times

AS students returned to class today the regional College of Nursing has called for quarantine periods to be returned to 10 days.

The Colegio de Enfermería de Valencia (Valencia College of Nursing) has condemned the decision to shorten quarantine periods, from 10 to 7 days, saying that this is not long enough, because some people can still be infectious after this time. They explain that while covid usually loses most of its viral load during the 7 days following the appearance of the first symptoms, when it disappears completely depends on the imunological situation of each person.

The organisation, which represents nurses from across the region, has expressed its disappointment that this change in quarantine times has been made, especially in the middle of a surge in cases of this sixth wave of coronavirus, and has called for quarantine times to be returned to 10 days, at least during the post-Christmas return to school and until the situation stabilizes.

They also point out that the WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends 14 days of quarantine.

Back to school

After a longer than normal Christmas break, schools opened their doors again this morning, but many didn’t know how many teachers and students would be absent, and there was concern that schools would be overwhelmed and unable to cope with staff shortages due to the ever-rising numbers of new covid-19 infections. Today saw a further 29,347 new infections reported by the health department.

The new term has brought with it new protocols; whole classes will only be quarantined if five or more students or 20% of the class test positive to covid-19. This is in the so-called “bubble” groups, up to sixth of primary. In classes of over 12s, where the majority are double vaccinated, pupils won’t necessarily have to isolate if there is a positive case in their class.

Another change, both in schools and in the work-place, is the length of time that people who test positive will have to quarantine, which has been reduced to seven days to try and avoid severe staff shortages in all areas, both public and private, and allow those who are asymptomatic to return to work sooner. And it is this which the College of Nursing sees as a cause for concern.

For his part, Valencia President, Ximo Puig, has defended his government’s aim for maximum in-person classes, while regional Education Minister, Vicent Marzà, said the first day back had gone well, with no serious incidences or shortages of staff.

Vaccination of 5 to 8 year-olds begins

In the run-up to the end of term, school children aged between 9 and 11 were offered a first jab of the Pfizer children’s vaccine, Comirnaty. The programme of vaccination for under 12s will resume on Thursday this week, with 9 to 11-year-olds who missed out before Christmas being offered the jab and the first 5 to 8-year-olds being vaccinated.

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