COVID Roundup: Schools Struggling, Education Minister Determined To Keep Classes Open

COVID Roundup: Schools Struggling, Education Minister Determined To Keep Classes Open

Published January 4, 2022

Photo by
Julia Staples

There are now over 400 school and afterschool centre workers in quarantine or isolation, Vísir reports, adding to the strain already being felt by those working closest with children.

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As reported, while chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason had recommended extending the winter break until January 10th, ultimately Minister of Health Willum Þór Þórsson opted to pass on making that decision, leaving it instead to Minister of Schools and Children’s Affairs Ásmundur Einar Daða­son. He, too, passed on this recommendation, which has not been universally well received by educators. Þorgerður Laufey Diðriksdóttir, the chair of the association of primary school teachers, told RÚV that she considers this decision (or lack thereof) to be a “beginner’s mistake” on his part, and parents are especially concerned about the health of their children.

For his part, Ásmundur is undeterred, telling reporters that it would be “irresponsible” to not keep schools at their normal operating hours. Not solely because education is important, he said, but also because school is an important part of a child’s social life. That said, he admitted that there may need to be some closures for some groups at certain points in time.

In other news, there were 1,290 recorded domestic cases of the coronavirus in Iceland yesterday, plus an additional 176 at the border. Of yesterday’s domestic cases, 804 were outside quarantine at diagnosis.

584 are in border screening quarantine, with 8,641 in domestic quarantine and 6,940 in isolation. According to the latest data from Landspítali hospital, there are currently 28 people in hospital and eight in intensive care. Of those in intensive care, seven are unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, on January 2nd, the 14-day incidence per 100,000 people for fully vaccinated adults who have had a booster shot was 1,344.6 (1.35%); for fully vaccinated children (i.e. those born in 2006 or sooner), 1,983.1 (2%); for fully vaccinated adults without a booster shot, 3,936 (4%); for unvaccinated adults, 2,160 (2.2%), and for unvaccinated children, 1,955.8 (2%). Bear in mind that this data is derived from people who have sought sample testing.

283,920 people aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of December 30th, comprising 90% of this age group. 159,234 have also received booster shots.

Getting a booster shot is a very straightforward process, with no barcode required. More information on that can be found here. For your first and second vaccination, you can sign up here.

As always, be sure to abide the domestic restrictions and border regulations.

More statistics and information can be found at covid.is or below.

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