Infections in Belgian schools have been stable since fall break
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Infections in Belgian schools have been stable since fall break

Credit: Belga

From 14 to 20 December, 782 cases of Covid-19 were reported to school health promotion teams (PSE), the National Office for Children (ONE) said Wednesday in a statement.

There were 539 cases of Covid-19 reported among pupils and students (9 in kindergarten, 247 in primary, 254 in secondary and 29 in higher education outside the university) and 172 among school staff. No details were provided for 71 of them.

The total number of reported cases has been relatively stable since the return from the fall break. It is almost 10 times lower than it was in October. The proportion of cases among elementary school students is slightly higher in December than previously.

The incidence is 158 new cases per 100,000 elementary school students (regular and specialized) calculated over 14 days and 154 new cases per 100,000 secondary school students. This is lower than the 14-day incidence of 293/100,000 in the general Belgian population.

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A total of 1,875 pupils and students, as well as 55 staff members, were screened between December 14 and 20. This brings the total number of new quarantines to 1,930.

“The respect of sanitary measures during the Christmas vacations will help maintain a manageable epidemic situation at the school in January,” explained ONE.

The Office for Birth and Childhood, thanks to the collaboration of the school health promotion services and the psycho-medico-social centres of the Wallonia-Brussels Education network (CPMS-WBE), is participating with the Agency for Quality of Life (Aviq) and the Joint Community Commission (Cocom) in the monitoring and management of the coronavirus pandemic in schools.

A new case reporting model, developed by Sciensano with the aim of improving the quality of data and their analysis, has been in place since 7 December.

The Brussels Times