Covid Q&A – Why are schools struggling and what are we doing to resolve the issue?

Covid Q&A – Why are schools struggling and what are we doing to resolve the issue?
© Getty School children

Why are things so bad in schools?

That depends on who you are speaking to. But everyone acknowledges there is a challenge getting enough substitute teachers when a teacher falls ill or is a close contact.

Are many teachers testing positive now?

The real problem lies in how Covid changed the way schools operate.

Previously, if a primary school teacher was out sick and no sub was available the students could be broken up into small groups and sent around to different rooms for other teachers to keep an eye on them.

You can’t do that now because it breaks up the pod system designed to stop the virus spreading. So any time a teacher is absent the demand for subs is heightened.

OK, but the case levels still seem high among children, don’t they.

Correct, and some unions will tell you many cases go undetected because contact tracing and testing was scaled back early in the school year.

Experts say much of the transmission happens outside school but nonetheless tens of thousands of kids are thought to have been off since mid-term because of Covid. There were 5,374 cases among five to 12-year-olds in the week to November 20.

Surely the vaccine will help there?

That’s the hope. Looking at the same week, 1,743 children aged between 13 and 18 were confirmed positive cases, a much lower number in this largely vaccinated group.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) believes high levels of prevention and preparedness are required in the education system, so the new Nphet recommendations around masks and limiting the movement of children may help here.

It it also says the short-term gain from vaccinating five to 11-year-olds will be “negligible” on overall mortality given the time needed to scale up vaccination programmes.

However, in the long term it will decrease transmission, mortality and hospitalisations in other age groups.

Is there anything else we can do in the meantime? What about these air filters which people have been calling for?

Some parents have been buying High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for schools, which UCD school of architecture professor Orla Hegarty says improve ventilation.

Officials at the Department of Education say funding is available to help schools where ventilation or air quality is below acceptable levels, but sources say they will rely on public health advice before committing to purchase such systems.

That advice seems unlikely to materialise after Professor Philip Nolan of Nphet last week told opposition TDs how transmission of the virus in classrooms “tends to happen to people who are quite close to the index case”.

He told the TDs long-range aerosol transmission does happen but it’s very rare and there’s probably little value in having a purifier in the far corner of the room.

And what about this new variant? Do we know how that will affect schools yet?

No, it’s far too early to say as the first European cases have only started to emerge.

The good news is there is little evidence the vaccines won’t be effective against it and, if necessary, companies are ready to change vaccines to combat it.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

'The View': Meredith Vieira, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Star Jones to Return for Season 25 Shows

The View will have some familiar faces for its 25th season. ET confirms that Meredith Vieira, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Star Jones will return to the daytime talk show to guest ... Read more »

Majha votes, Punjab follows? Not just Sidhu vs Majithia, here's why all eyes are on this region

Chandigarh: It’s often said that the politics of Punjab is run from the Majha region adjacent to the International Border with Pakistan. But the battle to become “Majhe da jarnail” ... Read more »

Schools to reopen in India? Health Ministry likely to issue advisory soon

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry is likely to issue an advisory to the states and UTs to reopen the schools with Covid norms amid ... Read more »

Antonee Robinson's goal powers USMNT over El Salvador in World Cup qualifier

Antonee Robinson (5) celebrates his goal with Weston McKennie (8) and Chris Richards (15). AP COLUMBUS, Ohio — Antonee Robinson broke through a freeze in the air and the U.S. ... Read more »

'1 in 3 Die': Wuhan Scientists Warn of New Coronavirus 'NeoCov' With High Death, Infection Rate, Says Report

© Provided by News18 ‘1 in 3 Die’: Wuhan Scientists Warn of New Coronavirus ‘NeoCov’ With High Death, Infection Rate, Says Report Scientists from China’s Wuhan, where the Covid-19 virus ... Read more »

RRB NTPC Protests: 4 arrested for pelting stones, vandalism in Patna, says DM

© Provided by DNA As many as four people have been arrested for pelting stones and vandalism at Rajendra Nagar Terminal in Bihar’s Patna for staging a protest against alleged ... Read more »

Reality of Hinduphobia must be established to challenge otherisation and persecution of Hindus in academic, media discourse

© Provided by Firstpost Reality of Hinduphobia must be established to challenge otherisation and persecution of Hindus in academic, media discourse At a recent virtual conference organised by the Delhi-based ... Read more »

I refuse to go to my sister's wedding because I can't bring my kids – she won't ever talk to me again but I don't care

DECIDING on a guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding – and for some, it can even mean family fallouts. One woman has ... Read more »

Fraktionschef der Union macht Platz für Friedrich Merz

Der Konkurrenzkampf zwischen dem künftigen CDU-Vorsitzenden Friedrich Merz und dem Vorsitzenden der Unionsfraktion im Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, ist entschieden. © AFP/Hannibal Hanschke Leitet künftig wohl Partei und Fraktion: Neuer CDU-Chef ... Read more »

Deadly lake could erupt and kill MILLIONS with poison gas cloud and tsunamis, experts warn

RESEARCHERS are concerned that a 'killer' lake in Africa could be fatal to millions, according to studies. Freshwater experts are warning that Lake Kivu, situated between Rwanda and the Democratic ... Read more »

Pay hikes in India may go back to pre-Covid levels

Spurred by the great resignation wave, India Inc is moving to normalise salary increments to pre-Covid levels with average increments projected at 9.4% for 2022 against an actual average raise ... Read more »

Happy Birthday Shruti Haasan: These Pictures Prove That Actress is a True Fashionista

She shared a bunch of pictures in this red Anarkali dress with a skirt. We loved the intricate design of her dress and her hairstyle. (Image: Instagram) Shruti looks beautiful ... Read more »

Raveena Tandon: Many questions remain unanswered in the first season

© Provided by Mid-Day One look at her portrayal of the tough-talking, slap-happy cop in Aranyak, and it’s evident that Raveena Tandon’s acting hasn’t lost its sheen. She ably led ... Read more »

Have you heard? Shweta Tiwari under fire for her statement at promotional event

© Provided by Mid-Day In a viral clip from the event in Bhopal, which was attended by co-stars Rohit Bose Roy, Digangana Suryavanshi, Kanwaljit Singh and Sourabh Raaj Jain, Tiwari ... Read more »

'Naam mein kya rakha hai': Sara Ali Khan-Vicky Kaushal wrap up Lakshman Utarkar's untitled film, drop romantic photo

© Provided by DNA Sara Ali Khan took to her social media handle Thursday to announce the wrap of her upcoming film, co-starring Vicky Kaushal, helmed by Lakshman Utarkar. Alongside ... Read more »

Islanders can't capitalize on chances in loss to Kings

If Thursday was a “prove it” game for the Islanders, then the only thing they proved was that they are not close, not at all, to where they need to ... Read more »

Shruti Haasan shares a cute pic & pens a grateful note to thank fans for unconditional love on her birthday

© Provided by Pinkvilla Shruti Haasan is one of the most popular actresses in the Indian film industry. The actress paved a niche for herself by working in different lingual ... Read more »

Asian stocks, US futures regain footing after Fed rate shock

Asian stocks recovered some of their steep losses from the previous session on Friday after U.S. markets limited further declines from hawkish U.S. Fed comments, supported by a firm economy ... Read more »

COVID hits one of the last uninfected places on the planet

The Associated PressFILE – In this March 30, 2004, file photo, Tarawa atoll, Kiribati, is seen in an aerial view. Kiribati and several other small Pacific nations were among the ... Read more »

BTS: Taehyung and Jungkook grooving on Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor's High Heels is a treat for all TAEKOOK stans [VIDEO]

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com We are back with another BTS X Bollywood edit made by the brilliantly creative BTS ARMY. Today, we have a TaeKook edition of the BTS X ... Read more »

Selidik agensi pengambilan pekerja Bangladesh, gesa Santiago

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Kerajaan menandatangani MoU dengan Bangladesh yang membenarkan 25 ejen dan sub ejen mereka mendapatkan pekerja untuk Malaysia. (Gambar AP) PETALING JAYA: Ahli Parlimen Klang ... Read more »

Penghuni rumah pangsa di Tanjung Aru terima notis pengusiran

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Sebanyak 315 keluarga di Rumah Pangsa Tanjung Aru di Kota Kinabalu, Sabah diberitahu supaya mengosongkan kediaman mereka. KOTA KINABALU: Penduduk flat kos rendah di ... Read more »

Paraguay 0-1 Uruguay: Suarez's superb strike boosts World Cup hopes

Luis Suarez scored a stunning second-half winner as Uruguay boosted their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. The Atletico Madrid latched onto a Diego Godin pass to fire a ... Read more »

Robert Pattinson Reveals Which Previous Batman Movie Is The Closest To Matt Reeves' Upcoming Blockbuster

© Provided by CinemaBlend Robert Pattinson in The Batman Several eras of DC movies have seen Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s Batman inspire audiences worldwide. Everything from the colorful comedy ... Read more »

L&T Q3 Preview | Consolidated PAT to decline over 3% despite 11.5% rise in sales

© Sandip Das L&T Q3 Preview | Consolidated PAT to decline over 3% despite 11.5% rise in sales India’s largest infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro is expected to report a ... Read more »

Union Budget 2022: In a first, 'Halwa' gives way to sweets amid fears over Omicron

© Provided by Jagran English New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In a first, the central government has decided to drop the customary pre-Budget ‘halwa ceremony’ this year amid fears ... Read more »

Budget 2022: Retail sector seeks relief measures, steps to boost consumption

© Himadri Buch Budget 2022: Retail sector seeks relief measures, steps to boost consumption The beleaguered retail industry expects a slew of relief measures to help it tide over challenging ... Read more »

Budget 2022: Divestment targets likely to be missed, despite 2021 promises

© Moneycontrol Budget 2022: Divestment targets likely to be missed, despite 2021 promises The distance between announcing ambitious disinvestment goals and achieving them, are quite a handful, as the Modi ... Read more »

India's gold demand to keep rising in 2022, could widen trade deficit: Report

India’s gold consumption is expected to rise further in 2022 which could widen the trade deficit and put pressure on the ailing rupee, the World Gold Council said on Friday. ... Read more »

FY23 Budget: Aviation sector fears it will be much ado about nothing, as usual

© Ameya Joshi FY23 Budget: Aviation sector fears it will be much ado about nothing, as usual Year after year, stakeholders in the aviation sector draw up a wishlist they ... Read more »

Super Radyo dzBB's statement on postponement of 'Ikaw Na Ba? The Presidential Interview' with Bongbong Marcos

© Bongbong Marcos FB Bongbong Marcos announces he will run for President, Oct. 5, 2021 Super Radyo dzBB’s scheduled interview with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday morning ... Read more »

Six stand trial for spectacular German museum jewel heist

Six members of a notorious criminal gang go on trial in Germany on Friday over a spectacular heist in which 18th-century jewels were snatched from a state museum in Dresden. ... Read more »

Federal judge cancel oil and gas leases in Gulf of Mexico citing climate crisis

A federal judge on Thursday invalidated a massive oil and gas lease for 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico after a coalition of environmental groups sued the Biden ... Read more »

US Supreme Court clears way for execution of Alabama inmate

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state of Alabama to execute an inmate who contends an intellectual disability combined with the state’s ... Read more »

Kumpulan pengguna alu-alukan langkah pecah monopoli Touch ‘n Go

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Menteri Kerja Raya Fadillah Yusof berkata, penggunaan penyedia bayaran tol lain akan dibenarkan sebaik sahaja syarikat konsesi lebuh raya bersedia dan apabila penembusan RFID ... Read more »

AEON, Grab berganding tawar pilihan e-dompet lebih berbaloi

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today AEON Co (M) Bhd dengan kerjasama Grab Malaysia menggalakkan pembayaran nirtunai menerusi e-dompet GrabPay. PETALING JAYA: Permintaan tinggi terhadap pembayaran nirtunai ketika pandemik Covid-19 ... Read more »

Where to find Piplup in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports As players begin their adventures in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, they will quickly discover that the starter Pokémon options have changed vastly from Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, ... Read more »

What are Merit Points and what do they do in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

© Provided by GamePur Besides the typical Pokémon Dollars you can spend at general stores and base camps, Pokémon Legends: Arceus introduces a second currency known as Merit Points that ... Read more »

2022 Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers: USA 1-0 El Salvador - A whiff of lightsaber delivers three points

© Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images The USA entered the penultimate round of World Cup qualifiers with hopes of getting nine out of nine points no matter the weather conditions ... Read more »

The best cards from day 1 of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty spoiler season

© Provided by Dot Esports Day one of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty spoilers is a wrap and there are plenty of new mechanics and cards to get the hype train rolling ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic