Students under the age of 12 who are in contact with a Covid positive will not be quarantined in Madrid

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The Community of Madrid announced a few days ago that it would stop establishing quarantines due to the appearance of sporadic cases of Covid-19 in educational centers from the beginning of the second quarter, set for January 10. This Wednesday, in an instruction sent to all educational centers in the region, the details of the new protocol have been specified, which exempts children under 12 years of age from quarantine, whether or not they are vaccinated. The change has not pleased the central government, which has reproached the Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso for having changed the criteria when no modification was agreed on Tuesday at the sectoral meeting or at the Interterritorial Council.

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The 'Protocol of action before the appearance of cases of Covid-19 in educational centers of the Community of Madrid', as the circular sent to schools and institutes is called, establishes that the students of Early Childhood and Primary Education (under 12 years) who have been close contacts will not have to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status.

Those over 12 years of age who have the complete vaccination schedule against Covid-19 will also not have to keep the seven days of quarantine if they are close contact. The rule changes for students older than this age, teachers and other center staff who are not vaccinated or who do not have the complete guideline. In these cases, they will quarantine for seven days after the last encounter with the confirmed case.

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What is a close contact and how to treat a positive?

The latest instructions issued by the Community of Madrid recall what is considered close contact of a positive and also how these cases should be handled if they arise in the center. Close contact is a person of stable coexistence or who has been with a positive person less than two meters away for more than 15 minutes without wearing a mask and in a closed place.

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As for how to act in the event of a possible positive case, it is recommended to follow a series of steps. The person who develops symptoms of the disease in educational centers will wear a surgical mask, will be transferred to a separate space and will contact the center's Covid-19 coordinator.

The companion of the suspected case will have to wear an FFP2 mask at all times and if the person with symptoms does not wear a mask because they are under 6 years of age or have respiratory problems, the companion will also have to wear a face shield and a disposable gown.

If the suspected positive case is a student, those responsible for the center will contact their family so that they come to pick them up and call their health center. The Ministry of Education has attached to the new protocol sent to schools and institutes in the region a couple of models of informative notes that must be sent to families in the event of any suspicion of contagion. If the symptoms have been developed by a worker or a teacher, they will have to go home and contact the corresponding health center by phone.

The Government reproaches Madrid for the change

The decision adopted by the Community of Madrid has not pleased the central government at all. The Minister of Territorial Policy and Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, has reproached the Díaz Ayuso Executive for unilaterally changing the criteria for quarantines in the educational field.

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"The Community of Madrid does not conform to institutional loyalty when there is a multilateral forum in which joint decisions are adopted to give a country response to circumstances like these," Rodríguez pointed out during an interview on La Sexta, referring to the meetings that were held this Tuesday in La Moncloa on returning to the classroom.

Madrid, Rodríguez has reiterated, "goes off on a tangent", in "a different direction" from the rest.

Students under the age of 12 who are in contact with a Covid positive will not be quarantined in Madrid
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