Government supports school testing every two weeks in Latvia

In order to address problems with laboratory capacity, the Covid-19 tests for routine school screening will be carried out once every two weeks, Latvian Television reported September 15.

Experts have indicated that of all tested pupils, only 0.18% were Covid-positive last week, which is a small enough proportion to switch to testing once every 14 days instead of once a week. By October 1, a new testing method will also gradually be introduced, which will allow one class to be tested as a single group.

A sterile cotton stick will issued to each pupil will be kept in the mouth for approximately 30 seconds. These sticks will then be collected in one tank and placed for laboratory examination. In the case of a negative result, it will apply to the class/group as a whole, while in the case of a positive result, pupils will have to perform an individual repeat test in any laboratory within 36 hours. The new arrangements are expected to make work easier for both laboratories and educational institutions.

The Minister said that the frequency and methods of testing in schools can be re-examined as the number of cases of disease increases.

In order to simplify the testing of pupils against Covid-19, information on schools, their pupils and employees will be transferred to laboratories from the State Education Information System.

The Ministry of Education and Science said that at present each school shall transfer the data of its students and employees to the laboratory. But the laboratories have indicated that too many corrections have to be made, so the work is not going smoothly. Therefore, further data will be transferred from a centralized system.

Personal data are collected for that single purpose and will not be used for other purposes.

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