Teachers off sick with Covid has increased by 367% after the Christmas break
The explosion of coronavirus cases over the Christmas holidays in the Canary Islands has resulted in a significant increase in the number of teachers and students infected when schools resumed on Monday. There are currently 883 teachers infected with Covid compared to 189 on the last day of school before Christmas, which is an increase of 367%.
This figure represents 2.8% of the workforce of 31,265 non-university teachers in the Canary Islands who are positive for coronavirus. In the case of students, the increase in infections has been 147%, as on December 22nd there were 894 positives, compared to 2,217 on Monday.
At this stage, there aren’t official figures as to how many classes have been disrupted by having to quarantine, but early indications are that it is not many due to the new rule of a minimum of 5 positives or 20% of the class in primary and infant schools, although they have had to send out advice to parents not to send children into school if they have any symptoms or a member of their family is in isolation.
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health held their weekly meeting on Tuesday to analyze the return to classrooms at the peak of the sixth wave of the pandemic, and are continuing to study whether Covid vaccinations among 5 to 11-year-olds will happen in schools, in addition to vaccination centres, health centres and hospitals on the islands.
Different teachers unions in the Canary Islands have spoken out against this measure including ANPE, who have demanded urgent measures in educational centres to address the new health situation due to the omicron variant to avoid more chaos.
They have proposed actions such as improving the tracking of infections, prioritizing the third-dose vaccination for teachers, increasing teaching staff, having a telephone service to manage teacher absences, and carrying out the vaccination of minors from 5 to 11 years only in sanitary facilities, among other initiatives.