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At-home rapid COVID-19 tests recommended for all students: education ministry

All News 10:28 February 16, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- The education ministry said Wednesday it is advising kindergarten to high school students to take rapid antigen tests at home twice a week before going to school in the upcoming semester amid a massive surge in infections.

The non-binding recommendation was issued as part of a virus prevention scheme for schools that are bracing for the new semester next month as omicron spreads rapidly, driving the daily new COVID-19 tally to over 90,000.

The ministry said it will distribute 60.5 million rapid antigen test kits for 6.92 million students and school personnel between late February and the end of March to get the recommended tests.

Under the scheme, students are "strongly" recommended to get at-home tests twice every week starting one day ahead of the new semester while a weekly test is recommended for teachers and other school personnel.

They are advised to report results of those tests to their schools, and those who have a positive test result will be led to take a polymerase chain reaction for confirmation, the ministry said.

A total of 5,764 students in Seoul have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, more than doubling the number from a week earlier due to the fast growth in new omicron variant cases, according to education authorities.

The education ministry has adopted a four-tier school operation scheme for the upcoming spring semester, which ranges from normal in-person schooling to virtual classes, from which each school is to choose on its own depending on its virus situation.

This file photo shows students heading to their school. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows students heading to their school. (Yonhap)


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