Covid testing in schools is hugely disruptive and should be suspended, experts have said, as it emerged that up to 60 per cent of “positive” tests a week are coming back negative when checked.
Under plans to keep schools open, more than 50 million lateral flow tests have been carried out on youngsters, leading to thousands of pupils and their social bubbles being forced to self-isolate for 10 days.
Pilot schemes for nine of the worst-hit areas will see councils offer to house the contacts of positive virus cases in order to stop transmission in overcrowded households.
With many primary school pupils learning at home, and toddlers missing out on critical social interactions with their peers,parents of young children have concerns about the long-term impact of long periods spent at home.
Immunocompetent staff, patients and residents who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR should be exempt from routine re-testing by PCR or LFD antigen tests (for example, repeated whole setting screening or screening prior to hospital discharge) within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset or test (if asymptomatic) unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by PCR in respiratory tract samples following infection – long after a person has completed their isolation period and is no longer infectious.
Repeated isolation has chipped away at the progress pupils have made since returning to school in September
The effectiveness of remote education is varied and difficult to determine
Children arriving at secure children’s homes are, in effect, put into solitary confinement
Many children with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are not attending school, are struggling with remote learning and are at risk of abuse or neglect.
Even more schools report at least one child now being home schooled. Many parents doing this say their children will not return to school ‘until pandemic is over’
Since the pandemic began, Goerke’s wife, Denise — 63 years old and afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease — had declined dramatically. Left alone in her nursing home, she had lost 16 pounds, could not form the simplest words, no longer responded to the voices of her children.
In recent weeks, she had stopped recognizing even the man she loved.
Goerke, 61, could tell the isolation was killing his wife, and there was nothing he could do but watch. “Every day it gets a little worse,” he said. “We’ve lost months, maybe years of her already.”
17-week perfect Antarctic quarantine and someone still contracted a coronavirus.
Commentary by Professor Michael Levitt: