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Schools in São Paulo already have 741 confirmed cases of covid-19 and 1,133 suspects

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São Paulo – The first assessment of the return to face-to-face classes in São Paulo, determined by the government of João Doria (PSDB), counts 741 confirmed cases of covid-19 in schools, between students and teachers. Of these, 456 cases were in the state network, 14 in the municipal networks and 271, in private. Another 1,133 suspected cases are under analysis. The data are contained in the Education Information and Monitoring System for Covid-19 (Simed), a platform that gathers information on cases of infection in the education networks and were released yesterday (16) by the Secretary of State for Education, Rossieli Soares. The numbers confirm the reasons for the concern of families and opposing workers back to school amid the worst moment of the pandemic in the country.

The data account for cases notified between 2 January and 13 February. In January, state schools opened to provide guidance to students and families about remote education and the delivery of kits, tutoring classes, in addition to planning activities, which started on January 26th. “We received few students in that period, but it was very tumultuous. There were problems in planning, rooms without ventilation, crowds of parents and students ”, said a pedagogical coordinator who asked not to be identified.

Although he claims that going back to school amid
covid-19 pandemic is safe, the Doria government has restricted access to the
Information and Monitoring of Education for Covid-19, leaving the assessment
resumption of activities without any transparency. Only one server
each school can be registered and access the system, both to register cases
suspected or confirmed illness at school, and to monitor the situation.
“Registration is extremely bureaucratic, it seems designed to give up on
inform the occurrences of contamination ”, added the coordinator.

Covid-19 in schools

Of the 456 cases in the state network, 83 were students. The rest of teachers and other education workers. Nine state schools were closed in the last week. In the private network, there were 130 cases of covid-19 in students and 141 in professionals. Last week, four elite schools had part of their classes suspended for confirmed cases of covid-19 among students and teachers.

In the municipal networks, only one case was registered in a student and another 13 in workers. The low number in the municipal network is mainly due to the different return period of this education system, which started back to school in the second or third week of February. The capital of São Paulo, for example, resumed the activities of part of the municipal schools last Monday (15).

The number of cases of covid-19 back to school in schools
of São Paulo could be much greater if all cities had reopened their
schools. Today, 129 of the 645 cities (20%) have not yet authorized the resumption of
activities in the state, keeping municipal and state units closed. AND,
according to Soares, only 60% of students who could resume activities
attended. State schools were reopened on February 8, and
must receive up to 35% of enrolled students daily.

In addition, the private network has full control over the information it enters into the system, since the government is unaware of the number of teachers, students and other workers. For example, outsourced professionals are not considered in the data. In municipal networks that have their own education council, the data do not necessarily need to be entered in Simed either.

Apeoesp

For the Union of Teachers of Official Education of the State of São Paulo (Apeoesp), this situation leads to distrust of the data presented by the Doria government. “If you are considering all networks, this number of 741 cases since January seems to me underreported,” said Apeoesp president and state deputy, Professor Bebel (PT). The union monitors the pandemic in schools independently and counts 468 cases of covid-19 in 278 state schools.

With the large number of cases of covid-19 recorded in schools with the return to school, the Doria government does not foresee any progress next week. All schools are expected to continue with 35% of students per classroom. In addition, instead of 70%, the first increase in capacity should be to 50%.

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Economy

Municipal schools in São Paulo record 3 deaths and 386 cases of covid-19 after returning to school

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São Paulo – Municipal schools in the city of São Paulo had three deaths from covid-19 and 569 confirmed cases among students and professionals in 256 teaching units, according to a survey by the five unions that organize municipal education workers. Some of the teachers and other education workers are still on strike demanding the suspension of face-to-face classes due to the high risk of contamination by the new coronavirus, in addition to the imminent risk of collapse in health. The Municipal Secretary of Education of the government Bruno Covas (PSDB) does not divulge the cases and says only that 12 schools had to be closed since the beginning of classes.

For workers, there are no safe conditions for resuming face-to-face classes in schools in the city of São Paulo, especially in the midst of the worsening pandemic. Among the main problems, they point to the lack of ventilation in the classrooms, materials for protection and hygiene – such as 70% alcohol gel and masks distributed by the Covas government – of low quality, impossibility to maintain the distance in early childhood education units, lack of teachers, lack of support teams.

Disoriented

The Covas government itself assumed that the preparation of the schools was insufficient when, two days before the return to school, it began to inform families that the resumption would be postponed, because 530 schools were still under renovation or without cleaning staff hired to work in the units.

Workers also point out that there is a lack of clarity in the protocols for cases of covid-19 in schools. In some regions, only the person with symptoms is excluded. In others, everyone who had contact. In still others, the entire school is closed. Workers attribute this situation to the dismantling of the Health Surveillance Coordination (Covisa), last year, the body responsible for defining health rules, but which today is subordinate to the Municipal Secretary of Health. And, therefore, without decision-making power.

According to the Union of Workers in Public Administration and Municipalities in the Municipality of São Paulo (Sindsep), the resumption of classroom activities in schools in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic was not preceded by a technical opinion that estimated the risks, made projections and defined clearly the procedures when cases of covid-19 appeared in schools. Sindsep says that the information was passed on by professionals from the Municipal Health Secretariat, at the Technical Desk of Covid-19, on February 23.

Political and authoritarian

The RBA questioned the Municipal Health Department four times about the technical opinion that supported the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools amid the covid-19 pandemic, but had no answer. Last year, Covisa took a stand against back to school on several occasions. This year, however, the Covas government decided that the resumption could take place even during the red and orange phases of the quarantine, when the risk of contamination by the new coronavirus is substantially greater.

“The decision of Covas and the municipal education secretary, Fernando Padula, in February, was a political decision, without a favorable technical opinion from health experts from the city itself, or from Covisa, an organ that was dismantled by Covas and lost its autonomy . Health was consulted only on the elaboration of protocols for the functioning of schools, but not on the epidemiological risks of reopening at that time. This statement belies the Municipal Department of Education, which has stated that the reopening of schools has been based on the position of the Municipal Department of Health, ”said the president of Sindsep, Sérgio Antiqueira.

Workers are studying to report the situation to the Municipal Health Council and the Public Ministry

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