Minister of Health Hogo de Jonge has expressed concern about the spread of the more contagious British variant of COVID-19 among children. The cabinet is discussing with the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) whether primary schools should be testing more often, and when they should reopen.
The ministers are rethinking their approach to testing, after a coronavirus outbreak of 40 cases at a primary school in Bergschenhoek (South Holland), according to NOS. The GGD has said that it’s plausible that most of these cases are concerning the British strain of the virus.
According to Minister De Jonge, because the virus has spread so clearly at the school, there may be consequences regarding the Netherlands’ testing policy.
Previously, it had been assumed that primary school-aged children don’t play much of a role in spreading the virus. “The spread among primary school children was not a major source of contamination before, but this cluster is,” said De Jonge.
The cabinet met yesterday afternoon to discuss whether a more intensive testing policy is needed within schools.
Plan for reopening schools announced today
It has been the intention under the current lockdown that primary schools remain closed until January 18, although the Lower House has called on the cabinet to see about opening earlier.
According to De Jonge, the cabinet has met about the matter and plans to make an announcement later today. The general assumption is that infection rates are still too high to reopen sooner than planned.
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