Mass testing of around 115 people will take place at a Belgian kindergarten after it saw a large outbreak of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), with some cases of the British variant detected.
The entire kindergarten of WIGO in Essen, in the province of Antwerp, will be tested on Friday after several teachers and children tested positive, the school and local council said on Thursday.
“We know that sometimes children pass the virus on without showing symptoms, and we know that this variant can be very infectious,” the council said.
By testing the entire kindergarten, WIGO’s headmaster Dirk Beyers hopes to get a better understanding of the number of infections.
All parents have been made aware of the testing, which will be carried out by Antwerp University Hospital’s Mobile Testing team on all pupils, teachers, lunchtime supervisors and pre-school and after-school care supervisors.
The first cases were detected last week, forcing several classes to go into quarantine, however, the school has enforced a stricter response after infections with the British variant, also known as B.1.1.7., had been found.
Staff and students of the WIGO primary school will not have to be tested, as no infections were detected there.
The results should be available on Saturday, meaning the school could reopen again on Monday, but until then, all children and staff members will have to remain in quarantine.
The Brussels Times