How do schools open on Monday?

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For unvaccinated and non-ill teachers and staff, the Official Gazette stipulates a rapid test or PCR test per week – What will happen when a case occurs

On Monday, September 12, the first bell rings in schools with students and teachers returning to classrooms without the mandatory use of masks.

Also, the self-test will not be mandatory, but for unvaccinated and non-ill teachers and staff the gazette prescribes one rapid test or PCR test per week.

The new 2022-2023 protocol for Primary and Secondary Education and Special Education Schools (Government Gazette)

The decision was published with the new protocol 2022-2023 with measures for the coronavirus in schools and educational structures (Government Gazette 4695/7-9-2022). During the operation of the Primary and Secondary Education and Special Education and Training units, the measures to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus defined in this decision are applied and follow the minutes of the 291st Meeting of the National Committee for the Protection of Public Health from 30.08.2022 against coronavirus COVID-19.

Mask use in schools

The use of a protective mask (simple surgical or cloth with appropriate specifications) is optional for students in all classes, teachers and other staff, as well as for visitors to school units. During the support process from a parallel support teacher, special Auxiliary Staff (APS) or School Nurse, as well as in the special education and training units and the Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support Centers (KE.D.A.S.Y.), a transparent full-face protective mask or a special fabric mask with a transparent front part of the mouth is recommended for students or staff, for cases where lip reading is a means of education and communication.

Students accompanying students at the Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support Centers (KE.D.A.S.Y.) are recommended to wear a protective mask.

Obligation to carry out a laboratory diagnostic test (rapid test or PCR test) of non-vaccinated and non-ill teachers and members of E.E.P. – E.V.P. and managing COVID-19 cases

Obligation to carry out a laboratory diagnostic test (rapid test or PCR test) of unvaccinated and non-diseased teachers and members of E.E.P. – E.V.P.

The teachers, the E.E.P.- E.B.P. members, as well as the administrative and other staff, who are fully vaccinated or sick in the sense of par. 2 and 3 respectively of article 9 of item D1a/G.P. 43107/22.07.2022 (Β’ 3891) of joint ministerial decision, as applicable from time to time, and have an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. (EU Digital COVID Certificate EUDCC) of Regulation (EU) 2021/953 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2021 and its first article from 30.5.2021 Act of Legislative Content (A’ 87), ratified with article 1 of Law 4806/2021 (A’ 95) with information about the status of the natural person-holder with regard to vaccination or disease from the COVID-19 coronavirus, or vaccination certificate of par. 5 of article 55 of Law 4764 /2020 (A’ 256) or an equivalent certificate or attestation from a third country, enter the school units, the Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support Centers (KE.D.A.S.Y.) and the Education Centers for the Environment and Sustainability (K.E.P.A.), where they serve upon presentation of said certificate or attestation. Responsible for monitoring compliance with the above obligation is the Director or Head of the school unit, of the KE.D.A.S.Y. and K.E.P.A., respectively.

The teachers and members of the E.E.P.- E.B.P., as well as the administrative and other staff, who are not fully vaccinated or sick in the sense of par. 2 and 3 respectively of article 9 of item D1a/G.P. 43107/22.07.2022 (B’ 3891) of joint ministerial decision, as applicable from time to time, and they do not display an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. (EU Digital COVID Certificate EUDCC) of Regulation (EU) 2021/953 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2021 and its first article from 30.5.2021 Act of Legislative Content (A’ 87), ratified with article 1 of Law 4806/2021 (A’ 95) with information about the status of the natural person-holder with regard to vaccination or disease from the COVID-19 coronavirus, or vaccination certificate of par. 5 of article 55 of Law 4764 /2020 (A’ 256) or an equivalent certificate or attestation from a third country, they are required to undergo a laboratory diagnostic test once (1) a week using the rapid detection of the antigen of the coronavirus COVID-19 (rapid-test) or with the molecular control method (PCR) in private diagnostic laboratories, as defined in p.d. 84/2001 (A’ 70), or in private clinics or pharmacies or a private doctor, at their own expensein accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 of article 111 of Law 4821/2021 (A’ 134).

The above mandatory laboratory diagnostic test for disease is carried out once per school week, before Tuesday up to forty-eight (48) hours before attending the school unit, the Interdisciplinary Assessment, Counseling and Support Centers (KE.D.A.S.Y.) and the Environment and Sustainability Education Centers (K.E.P.A.).

If the diagnostic is negativethen the above certificate of negative laboratory diagnostic test is issued and the teacher or member of the EEP-EBP comes to his service to provide teaching or support work, with the presentation of the certificate in question.

If the result of the laboratory diagnostic test is positivethe protocol is followed.

Management of student, teacher and staff member with symptoms of COVID-19 cases

If a student exhibits symptoms that may appear in a child with a COVID-19 infection, off school premises, remains at home and the school unit is notified under the responsibility of the parents/guardians.

If the student located in the school unitthe following are taking place on behalf of the school unit’s COVID-19 Officer:

  • Communication with the family to pick up the student.
  • Isolation of the student in a predetermined well-ventilated area, with supervision, away from other children and application of a simple surgical mask.
  • Application of hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene by the student and the person(s) taking care of him/her.
  • Use of personal protective equipment by staff (mask, gloves, and in case of risk of ejection of biological fluids or respiratory secretions – waterproof apron and eye protection with glasses or face shield).
  • Thorough cleaning of the area and application of disinfectant to surfaces after the student’s departure using personal protective equipment.
  • A medical evaluation is carried out at the initiative of the young people’s parents/guardians and in collaboration with them. If, according to this evaluation, the student is characterized as a suspected case of COVID-19, it is recommended to carry out a laboratory diagnostic test using the rapid detection of the antigen of the coronavirus COVID-19 (rapid-test) or with the molecular control method (PCR ). Pending the result, the student remains in isolation at home, while the school unit continues its operation.

If the medical evaluation done in collaboration with the parents/guardians leads to the conclusion that there are no signs of COVID-19 infection, then the student may return to school when symptoms subside or any other, other than COVID-19, a health problem, without the need to present a medical certificate.

If the medical evaluation shows that the student is a suspected case, it is recommended to carry out a laboratory diagnostic test using the rapid detection of the antigen of the coronavirus COVID-19 (rapid-test) or with the molecular control method (PCR).

If a teacher, member of E.E.P. – E.V.P. or member of other staff manifest symptoms that may occur in a person with a COVID-19 infection outside the school premises, remains at home and the school unit is notified under his responsibility.

If this happens while he is at school, he leaves the school premises after consultation with the officials. It is recommended to submit it to a laboratory diagnostic test using the rapid detection of the antigen of the COVID-19 coronavirus (rapid-test) or with the molecular control method (PCR). Pending the result, the above remain in isolation at home, while the school continues its normal operation.

Student and staff management in the event of a positive laboratory diagnostic test using a rapid-test or PCR method

The parent/guardian of the student or the teacher, member of E.E.P. – E.V.P. or other staff member informs the school unit’s COVID-19 management officer of the positive result of the diagnostic test for COVID-19. Student and staff member with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must be removed from school and remain in isolation for five (5) days from the day of the positive laboratory diagnostic test.

During isolation, the student or staff member with confirmed COVID-19 must also refrain from all extracurricular activities (e.g. tutoring, foreign languages, sports).

Day 0 is considered the day of receipt of the positive laboratory diagnosis.

Returning to school for people with confirmed COVID-19 disease

The student or adult may return to school after five (5) days of isolation, if there are no symptoms or the symptoms improve after five days with complete resolution of the fever for a 24-hour period without the use of antipyretics.

If o fever insists it is recommended to extend the isolation within the home until the fever has completely subsided. The return to school of confirmed cases does not require a new laboratory diagnostic test or the presentation of a medical certificate. However, in the event that, despite the recommendations, a new laboratory diagnostic test is carried out and it is positive, then this fact is not a reason not to return to school.

In the case of patients with a very serious disease or immunosuppression, the above required interval from the onset of symptoms may be extended, according to the opinion of the attending physician. Students as well as staff members when returning to school or to their service are required to use a high respiratory protection mask (N95 or КN95 or FFP2) or a double mask for five (5) days from the end of the isolation day.

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