Ministry of Health Announcement – Differentiation of protocol for tracking COVID-19 cases in Schools

In the context of the detection of coronavirus cases, the Epidemiological Surveillance and Infectious Diseases Control Unit of the Ministry of Health has identified transmission chains in school units. Increased incidents in schools can spread the virus to the community, as individuals (students and staff), in addition to their in-school contacts, can consequently transmit the virus within the family and in their social environment.

Therefore, in order to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading to schools and the community, the Ministry of Health, in consultation with the Ministry of Education and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Coronavirus, has diversified the protocol for tracking COVID-19 cases in schools. Specifically:

– Close contacts of a student or teacher positive for the virus are considered all children of the same class, as well as out-of-class case contacts during breaks, on the bus, in social gatherings, etc., and should remain isolated.

– In cases where in a school unit (school or circle (κύκλος) ) different students / teachers from three and / or more different classes are detected positive for the virus, within a weekthe school closes and the education is carried out remotely for a period of one week. If this is a Primary School, all classes of the circle (κυκλος) are closed as long as the two circles are spatially separate.

– One week after the closure of the class (i.e. the 6th day after closure), the whole school is subjected to a rapid antigen detection test (nasal sampling for minors), except for classes that are considered close contacts and must remain self-isolating for the whole of the indicated interval. Those classes that do not have a new case return the next day. In the classes where a new case is detected, only the students / teachers of the class who are not in close contact and have a negative result return.

– For the period that the school unit operates with distance education, the students abstain from the afternoon and extracurricular activities.

By changing the process, the possibility of creating a chain in the school is reduced and at the same time the educational process is protected in the departments that do not have positive incidents.

The actual announcement in Greek can be accessed here.