parents of students facing the puzzle of the new test protocol

The return to school was short-lived for Rozenn’s eldest son (the people questioned wished to remain anonymous). From the first day of school, Monday January 3, the 6-year-old boy was declared a contact case after the detection of a case of contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in his class. The specific monitoring protocol is then triggered for the family. It provides that children under 12 years old and those over 12 years old who are vaccinated should not be isolated but do an antigen test or PCR the same day, then two self-tests two days and then four days later, and justify a result. negative, each time, to return to class. In primary school, this protocol applies to the first positive case detected in a class.

Read also Covid -19: isolation, contact cases, schools … view the new health protocols

In this re-entry, where the number of contaminations explodes everywhere in France, Rozenn and her husband therefore had to leave for “Test hunt”. “The laboratories are saturated, not all pharmacies test the little ones, and there was between forty-five minutes and two hours in line each time”, explains this mother of two, a biological engineer in Loire-Atlantique, in response to a call for testimonies launched by The world.

They were unable to obtain the two self-tests supposed to be given to parents and paid for by Medicare. “Of the six pharmacies located less than 3 kilometers from us, no self-test available”, deplores Rozenn, who came up against the lack of stock or pharmacists who said to ignore the measure.

Contamination boom

Three days after returning from the Christmas holidays, there are many testimonies from parents who, like Rozenn, face significant obstacles in complying with the schoolchildren testing protocol. These rules, announced on the evening of Sunday January 2 in an article in Parisian by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, consist of “Test more to avoid closing classes”.

It often takes hours to get an antigen test, or even days for a PCR

“It is above all the requirement to carry out self-tests which is new, otherwise this protocol does not change much compared to the one which has prevailed since the end of November [2021] », it is argued at the Ministry of National Education. But the health situation is no longer the same. With more than 200,000 daily contaminations for a week – there were 332,000 Wednesday evening – it often takes hours to do an antigen test in pharmacies, even days for a PCR in laboratories, overwhelmed by a record number of screenings.

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