SCHOOL AND COVID. The Covid-19 is still circulating in France, even though the health situation remains favourable. The government is considering closing classes as a last resort in its health protocol.
[Mis à jour le 2 septembre 2022 à 15h36] The start of the school year took place on Thursday, September 1, 2022. While the epidemiological indicators are reassuring, the start of the school year and the fall could lead to more transmissions of Covid-19. During the weekly update, Public Health France indicates that as of August 31, 2022, the incidence in France has fallen by 14.4% in one week. However, with the return of the students to the classroom and their mixing, a resumption of the epidemic cannot be ruled out. For example, the Ministry of Education published its health protocol for the start of the 2022-2023 school year at the end of July. He claims “a strategy based on personal education, for the success and well-being of students, while limiting the spread of the virus within schools and educational institutions,” he writes on his site.
The health protocol provides for different measurement levels: basic, green, orange and red. The maximum alert level, red, does not provide for class closures, but for a “high school hybridization according to the local context”. In addition, the same rules for wearing a face mask and contact tracing apply at school as for the general population. For example, the mouth cap has not been mandatory since the start of the school year. “There is no specific rule in the school environment, no specific school testing policy, nor a specific contact tracing device in the school environment,” describes the National Education.
Can classes and schools close?
Depuis janvier, le principle général établi par le ministère de l’Education nationale est celui-ci : meme en cas d’apparition de contaminations, les classes ne ferment pas et les enfants sont testés dès lors qu’un cas de Covid est identifié dans the class. Class closures can in reality still happen “depending on the situation”. “In the presence of, for example, a very large number of cases,” according to the services of the ministry. In recent months, class closures have been very rare, on the order of a few dozen per week.
The protocol in this area has not changed: it will remain the same at the beginning of the 2022 school year. The positive child must isolate himself and thus not be brought to the classroom or classroom for seven days, or five days if an antigen or PCR test is required. is performed after five days and is negative. Please note, however, that for children over 12 years of age who do not have a full vaccination schedule, the isolation period is 10 days, or seven days if an antigen or PCR test has been performed and it is negative.
Covid circulation in schools
Here are the incidence rates (number of cases per 100,000) measured over the past rolling week by school level. The figures below have been prepared by Public Health France and taken from the Data.gouv website.
The Ministry of Education has posted infographics online to make the anti-Covid system understandable. In the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19, the principal or principal alerts the students and their families, as well as the staff of the class concerned, without specifying the identity of the sick person. With this information, the contact person can receive a free self-test at the pharmacy. Evidence of the apprentice’s education in the institution concerned must be provided. People who come into contact with the person who tested positive for Covid-19 should perform a screening test (RT-PCR or antigen test or self-test) two days after reporting. These rules are the same for everyone, regardless of age and vaccination status.
In primary school
In college and high school
A health protocol has also been drawn up for this school year 2022-2023. The rules evolve according to the epidemic situation in France, but it should be noted that it is no longer the intention to make the wearing of a mask mandatory again. Good practices are reminded time and again to limit the spread of the virus.