OAJ: Closure of schools and kindergartens is likely if omicron predictions are accurate

OAJ: Closure of schools and kindergartens is likely if omicron predictions are accurate

“Especially in early childhood education, there is already a great shortage of staff. This is progressing very rationally: schools will remain open as long as there are enough staff. “

Experts at THL on Friday presented a forecast that the number of coronavirus infections could rise and the need for hospital capacity would double from the current one until early February. According to Helsingin Sanomat. The prediction is based on the assumption that the wave of infection that began about a month ago will last for about 12 weeks and that the omicron transformation will infect most of the population during the wave.

According to the newspaper, about 80 percent of the population would have either asymptomatic or asymptomatic infection during a wave. About 60 percent of people in other age groups would get the virus.

Luukkainen told STT on Sunday that if the forecast is correct, it is “very likely” that at least some of the schools, educational institutions and kindergartens will have to close due to staff shortages.

“On the other hand, we have no choice but to admit that if we face this kind of morbidity, we can’t do much either,” he admitted.

Last weekend, Luukkainen criticized the municipalities in the Helsinki metropolitan area for their decision to effectively stop issuing quarantine orders and interpreted it as a reluctance to raise a finger to prevent school infections.

“It seems like now, for a week, nothing is being done about schools and kindergartens that everyone can just get sick,” he complained.

“The government’s recommendations are just recommendations and don’t seem to affect them at all in many parts of the country. At the same time, some other recommendations, such as avoiding close contact, are not even feasible in schools and kindergartens.

The OAJ, he stressed, does not demand the closure of schools or kindergartens, although forecasts show that closures are inevitable.

“If staff get sick at the rate mentioned by THL, no one will be left to teach. The question is, can schools be kept open at all?

In early childhood education, the situation is all the more challenging because kindergartens cannot be run remotely. “If kindergartens are closed, then what? How can parents go to work?” asked Luukkainen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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