SEROLOGY tests carried out on teachers in Andalucia reveal that only 0.1% of them have tested positive for COVID-19.
Serology tests look for the presence of antibodies, specific proteins made in response to infections. The presence of antibodies is a reliable indication that a person’s immune system has responded to COVID-19 in the past and mounted an immune response against it.
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Antibody test results are especially important for detecting previous infections in people who had few or no symptoms.
The testing in Andalucia has revealed that 135 teachers have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies out of 87,911.
The results are similar to those previously done on nursery school teachers which revealed 23 positive cases out of 14,000 people.
Those teachers who have tested positive in the serology tests have subsequently undergone a PCR test to determine if they still have the virus.
The Junta has informed that all professionals of the educational sector will be tested again in January, after the Christmas holidays.
800,000 primary school pupils in Andalucia are due to return to the classroom this Thursday and secondary schools (ESO) start on September 15.
The Regional Ministry of Education has however permitted the start of the new school term to be staggered over four days, giving leeway to fully incorporate students from the official start date.
In a bid to reassure the educational sector, Regional Minister for Education, Javier Imbroda, has emphasised that the return to the classroom is ‘safe’, although he added that ‘there is no such thing as zero risk’.
Imbroda acknowledges that cases will arise between teachers and students, that classrooms and some schools will be closed, but he insists that face-to-face classes should be resumed because ‘no screen replaces a teacher’.
According to reports published by the Regional Ministry of Education, 6,419 back-up teachers have been hired and 6,700 Covid coordinators have been appointed in the centres.