Family doctors are recommending the state keep schools open and maintain in-class learning for vaccinated students. Family doctors say that students should take a rapid test before going to school, making things safer for students and teachers alike.
The Estonian Family Medicine Association, the Estonian Junior Doctor Association and the Estonian Family Nurses Association wrote an appeal in which they ask for the state's help in solving the coronavirus crisis and in limiting the damage.
In their statement, the family doctors call for keeping the schools open, halting school outbreaks of Covid, increasing vaccination coverage among the elderly, preventing social isolation and also resolving issues of mental health as their main goals.
To achieve these goals, the family doctors are asking the schools and hobby schools open for as long as possible.
In the case of closing schools, it should be taken into account whether it might be possible to vaccinate in the specified age group.
Contact learning for vaccinated children has to be maintained; family doctors say that closing schools and hobby education should be a last step, one which should be used if all other solutions haven't worked.
School outbreaks can also be headed off with the use of rapid tests, which should be done three times a week under parental supervision, and not in schools, the family doctors noted.
When testing at home, the student can stay at home immediately if testing positive. The doctors said that testing at home is also safer for the child. Furthermore, taking the test may cause the child to sneeze, which in itself releases virus particles into the air.
Family doctors added that treating people with coronavirus symptoms and their close contacts should be harmonized.
Several towns have been sending schools on remote learning, including Pärnu and Narva, while Tallinn has prolonged a one-week remote learning period for grades 4-8 this week, into next week as well.
Editor: Roberta Vaino