The Covid-19 self-tests must be deployed as a priority in schools, from the next school year, the scientific council recommended Thursday, April 22. “For middle and high school children, the ATAG (antigenic self-test) is suitable” and will have to be the object of an apprenticeship in the establishment, then “At home under parental control”, suggests the government’s advisory body in an opinion dated April 19 and made public on Thursday.
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The board recommends “The development of a secure digital platform recording the results of the tests, or any other mode of communication specifying the performance of the test and its result”, for example the correspondence book. Regarding the frequency, the council considers that it “Appears that a rhythm of 1 to 2 tests per week with a participation of at least 75% of the pupils makes it possible to have a very significant impact on the risk of school spread of the virus”.
On the other hand, it does not comment on the use of self-tests in nursery and primary, although the High Authority for health does not recommend them for the time being until the age of 15. For these younger students, “Either ATAG is possible and should be deployed with the help of parents, if possible at home before school starts, or as an alternative, PCR tests on saliva samples will be maintained”, with in the latter case “The pitfall” of the time to get the result, writes the board.
“An asset for the management of the epidemic”
A self-test campaign in schools should already be scheduled for the start of the September 2021 school year, further recommends the council.
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Non-vaccinated professionals “Intervening in contact with the most vulnerable people” should also be given priority, but the use of ATAGs can also be “Be offered in the non-professional field (festive family reunions, other types of reunification) or professional (companies)”, believes the board.
“Self-tests can become an asset for the management of the epidemic”, finally considers the council, who sees it “A real opportunity for screening and risk reduction, strengthening the policy of diagnosis and epidemiological monitoring of confirmed cases”.