Mass testing will begin in Oslo schools today, with children being tested for Covid-19 twice a week in the Norwegian capital.
“Mass testing is important for our students in order to have a safe and predictable school day. We want our students to be able to attend school as much as possible, in the most everyday way possible. Mass testing is important to achieve this,” Marte Gerhadsen, director of education at Oslo Municipality, said in a statement.
Students in secondary and upper secondary schools will be tested. In total, around 40,000 students will be tested twice a week. The municipality also said it was planning to test kids in primary schools too.
The decision to implement mass testing comes following record Covid rates both in Oslo and also nationwide. Oslo joins Bergen, Trondheim, Fredrikstad and others in mass testing pupils to prevent infections from rising even higher.
Students will be tested on Mondays and Thursdays. Schools will begin receiving shipments of enough tests to test pupils for between two and four weeks, and students will be given eight tests, or four weeks worth, at a time.
The reason for mass testing among students is that coronavirus infections are spreading primarily among young people. It’s also hoped that testing will help ease some of the demand on infection tracking services that have been put under strain because of outbreaks in schools and among young people. Pupils will need to test themselves, and while the testing will be voluntary, the municipality has urged all students to test themselves.
“By making the move to regular testing for all students, the schools can be kept open, and the strain tracing infected students is much lower,” the statement from Oslo Municipality read.