Schools planned to stay on-site despite rise in morbidity in Latvia

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Everything will be done to keep learning onsite, Anita Muižniece, Minister for Education and Science, told Latvian Television October 5.

“We have always had the setting that schools are the last to be closed and the first to be opened, but it is clear that when we see how rapidly [Covid-19] morbidity is growing, we may have to take decisive steps understanding that the health system is facing a collapse,” Muižniece said.

A specific decision will be taken by the government on Tuesday.

Muižniece said: “I am for strict limits, but it is absolutely necessary to focus on older and chronically ill people, think about how to vaccinate them. [..] We are doing everything we can to have the schools onsite. There is no such conversation about closing educational institutions after the [school holidays]," said Muižniece, stating that school screening helps timely detection of Covid-19 infection.

Since August 24, school screening has revealed positive Covid-19 results only in 1.9% of cases, the minister said. There is also relatively good vaccination coverage among young people. In her opinion, for these reasons, schools are not a major source of infection.

At the same time, Muižniece said that conceptually the possibility of extending the school autumn holiday by a week would be considered, but it was a complicated solution: “If we extend the holiday, everyone should work from home and cannot go to events because otherwise, it will not work.”

Newswire LETA reported Tuesday that separate groups of students are in quarantine in 122 schools, which is 146 fewer than last week, so the number has been cut more than by half. The highest numbers of schools are located in the two biggest cities, Rīga and Daugavpils. 

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