Latvia’s weekly school testing to be organised more seldom

In the second week of the mass Covid-19 testing of pupils in Latvian schools, the government has decided to make the procedure less frequent – switching to testing once in two weeks instead of weekly tests of more than 200 000 people.
The agreement was reached by Latvian Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts (For Development/For) and Minister of Education and Science Anita Muižniece (New Conservative Party).
If the number of positive Covid-19 tests grows significantly, the frequency of testing in schools can be reviewed again, the Latvian Health Ministry announced the conceptual agreement between the two ministers on Thursday, September 9.
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To make the testing process easier for everyone involved and for quicker results of tests to arrive, it is also planned to introduce a new testing method, which envisages testing every class as a joint group, not as a group of numerous separate samples. Should the infection be found in the joint sample of one class, every pupil will be tested separately.
According to the data of the Latvian Health Ministry, the first two weeks of testing have allowed to begin in-class learning and avoid wide Covid-19 outbreaks in 215 education institutions, as well as to assess more objectively the spread of the infection in Latvian regions. Collecting saliva samples of more than 200 000 school children and school staff has been a challenge to education institutions, the children and their parents, as well as a challenge to laboratories that did the testing.