One week into the new school year, hundreds of pupils and dozens of school staff in the Brussels Region have been quarantined following the detection of coronavirus cases.
Two preschools in the municipality of Ixelles have put a combined 210 pupils in preventative quarantine after two external school collaborators tested positive for coronavirus.
The children, all aged under 6, were not allowed to attend class on Monday in a decision the Francophone childhood authority ONE described as preventative due to the children's young age.
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"A note from the ONE said that, since children under six years old cannot follow social distance rules and are in direct contact with school staff, they must be put in quarantine," Romain de Reusme, public education councillor for Ixelles, told 7sur7.
"If the children had been a bit older, a quarantine would not have been necessary," he added.
In Anderlecht, ten kindergarten teachers from the Sint-Vincentius Institute were also sent into quarantine after one member of staff tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reports on Tuesday.
With teachers at home, the school has asked parents to keep their preschoolers at home until 14 September unless they have no other childcare alternatives, Bruzz reports.
The school's primary section continues to be open normally, the school said, adding that they decided to put the preschool staff in quarantine because the one who tested positive had participated in several meetings in the proceedings days.
The Atheneum GO! For Business secondary school in Molenbeek also reported a coronavirus case on Tuesday, saying that it had put 14 members of staff on quarantine as a result, out of which ten were teachers, with all staff set to take a coronavirus test.
Due to the teachers' absence, the school will activate distance learnings procedures for students in the 2nd and 3rd grade but will keep the rest of its classes open as normal.
The Brussels Times