From Monday, priority for education and care in testing

Priority testing of health and education personnel begins on Monday, the Ministry of Health has announced. Minister De Jonge had already announced last week that these groups would be given priority for corona testing, but the details still had to be worked out.

Staff in education and care will be tested in the morning as much as possible. The intention is to give them the results in the evening. Those involved can call a special telephone number. The number will be announced on Monday morning. The Ministry emphasises that only people who are eligible for priority may use this number. Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) check that. And employers must also ensure that the scheme is not abused.

Classes going home

The scheme is intended for staff in education and care with complaints that are appropriate to the coronavirus. In education, employees in primary and secondary education and special education are eligible. It is also a condition that their absence leads to classes having to be sent home.

In health care, these are employees who are indispensable for patient care and continuity of care.

The Ministry emphasises that this is a temporary arrangement. Once laboratory capacity is back in order, it will no longer be necessary to test priority groups, says Public Health. De Jonge expects that this will be the case in October.

No priority for childcare

There is much to be done about the lack of testing, including in the House of Representatives. Yesterday, the General Political Considerations again devoted extensive attention to it. Yesterday, the House stated that priority should be given not only to staff in education and care, but also in childcare. De Jonge does not go along with that. According to him, this is not feasible from an organisational point of view.

De Jonge also stresses that child care is not compulsory (in contrast to education, where compulsory education is compulsory) and that the groups there are not as large as in schools.

Trouw reported yesterday that the Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) are completely against giving priority to certain groups. According to the newspaper, the GGDs believe that the priority policy ‘scourges’ with the targeted tackling of clusters of virus outbreaks.