FHI comments on the start of school in Norway, says some of the infection could have been avoided

School - pupils - studentsPhoto: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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The new testing regime introduced in Norwegian schools this autumn should have been better prepared, the FHI states in a new report.

In a new report, the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) looked more closely at the start of school in August, when schools opened at the “green” level, at the same time as a new system of testing was introduced instead of quarantine.

The FHI’s conclusion is that some of the infection could probably have been avoided even though the situation was put under control relatively quickly after school started.

“The new testing regime should have been better prepared and put in place earlier,” the report states.

Undetected infection

The FHI also states that much of the spread of infection began even before school started and that many students started school with undetected infection.

Towards the end of the summer holidays, there were many activities for students in upper secondary school, such as activity camps, festivals, parties, and other social events. We received information from meetings with many municipalities about many outbreaks that started in such situations,” the FHI noted.

When the students started going to school again, the spread of infection continued inside the schools and through social activities and events in and outside of schools.

The infection, on the other hand, quickly went down again when the young people entered school days with targeted testing and infection control measures, according to the FHI.

Complex system

The FHI report shows that the infection decreased rapidly when the hardest-hit municipalities established new testing regimes with regular testing.

This reduction began before the vaccination of young people started in full. But the testing regime “did not work optimally in the beginning,” according to the FHI. 

“The municipalities had a short time to prepare, the system was complex, and there was a lack of rapid tests,” according to one of the main conclusions in the new report.

The FHI nevertheless believes that regular operations in the schools are justifiable in the current situation.

“When people in risk groups have mainly been vaccinated, strict measures aimed at children are no longer proportionate.”

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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