The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among elementary, middle and high school students in Seoul has doubled in one week due to the fast spread of the Omicron variant. In particular, the number sparked among elementary school students and high school freshmen and sophomores. It is thought that the number of students infected with COVID-19 has increased as growing number of schools are reopening.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education on Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases among elementary, middle and high school students in Seoul was 5,764 in the second week of February, up 3,009 from 2,755 in the first week of the month. During this period, the number of confirmed cases among elementary school students, and high school freshmen and sophomores increased from 1,614 to 3,229 and from 417 to 1,213, respectively.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education plans to provide COVID-19 testing kits to kindergarteners and elementary school students, which is for twice a week for seven weeks after the beginning of school. A total of 22 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test teams, two each at 11 offices of education, will also be operated. They are mobile screening stations dispatched to schools, where cluster infections break out.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said it will determine the new semester’s academic calendar, taking into account two indicators including the proportion of confirmed cases in school reaching 3 percent, and the proportion of students in the same grade or class self-isolating reaching 15 percent. If any of the two indicators exceed the standard after school starts in March, some curriculum activities may be restricted or switched to remote learning at the discretion of the principal. If both indicators exceed the standard, remote learning can replace some curriculum activities.