Seoul education office to expand PCR tests before resuming in-person classes - Korea Times
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Seoul education office to expand PCR tests before resuming in-person classes

By Bahk Eun-ji

The Seoul education office said it has decided to expand pre-emptive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in schools and increase the number of school quarantine personnel in preparation for the full resumption of in-person classes in the second semester.

Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE), announced the plan during a press conference at the education office building, Thursday.

Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, speaks during a press briefing at his office, Thursday. Yonhap
Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, speaks during a press briefing at his office, Thursday. Yonhap
The SMOE, in cooperation with Seoul National University, plans to test-run rapid PCR testing at five schools, including boarding schools, in July.

Unlike the usual PCR tests, with the rapid PCR tests, it takes only an hour or two for the results to come out.

Besides the rapid PCR tests, the education office has been operating a "mobile testing center" that workers conducting tests can use as a workspace while visiting schools, as well as offering self-testing kits to 19 boarding schools.

"When you look into the recent group of infection cases at high schools in Seoul, most of the patients were asymptomatic. This situation means that active and preemptive quarantine support measures are needed," Cho said.

The office will also dispatch workers in charge of quarantine-related work to each school.

Starting Monday, 190 middle schools with more than 500 students will be provided with one quarantine worker each.

Meanwhile, the SMOE decided to check some schools that have been criticized for excessively controlling students ― including banning female students from wearing colorful underwear ― and encourage them to revise such regulations.

"There are schools that regulate students' underwear and socks through their student life regulations, so it is necessary to revise them through public discussion," Cho said.

"In order to guarantee students' rights, we will correct such regulations that are violating them."


Bahk Eun-ji ejb@koreatimes.co.kr


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