Advisor at the Ministry of Education and Research Mario Kadastik told ERR that following the school Christmas holidays, all children, including vaccinated ones, will need to be tested at school again. As a result of the omicron strain, more distance learning may occur too.
"For the first two weeks, when the children come back to school, they all need to be tested, including vaccinated students," Kadastik said.
Kadastik added that since vaccinated people get infected with the omicron strain, it's important to test children at first, just in case.
"In the schools where tests were taken home before the holidays, it would be the best if they were carried out before the first school day at home, to identify asymptomatic children as soon as possible," Kadastik said.
He explained that the symptoms involving the omicron strain are seemingly lighter: A sore throat, runny nose or digestion issues.
The ministry recommends testing the children at home, but the final decision regarding testing will be made by the school.
"Testing at school has an advantage that we know that the children get tested, but the disadvantage is that then the child is already at school," Kadastik said. "When he's positive, the chances are bigger that he has already managed to infect somebody.
Kadastik added that according to his knowledge, the schools have received the necessary amount of tests to test all children. "Some schools have done too many tests, their supply will arrive in January," he specified.
Kadastik added that if there are more people in the class, the class should be sent for distance learning, but the whole school should be avoided.
"If you can still see the spread, or if there are already several infected people in the class, that class or age group should be sent at a distance," he said. "In the case of an omicron infection, this may be even more necessary, because it spreads so massively."
Editor: Roberta Vaino