Students will no longer get free tests from Monday when positive case in class is confirmed

Covid incidence rates experiencing 'quick and clear decrease,' say health authorities

Secondary students in a new school in Caldes de Malavella, on September 13, 2021 (by Marina López)
Secondary students in a new school in Caldes de Malavella, on September 13, 2021 (by Marina López) / Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

February 2, 2022 12:03 PM

The pandemic situation in Catalonia has turned from the gloom seen in January.

As a result, authorities have lifted most of the restrictions – including allowing nightclubs to reopen from February 11 –, and some of the exceptional measures in schools are now also removed.

In her weekly press conference, public health secretary Carmen Cabezas said on Wednesday that schoolchildren will no longer get free tests in pharmacies from Monday when a positive case is reported in their class due to the remarkable decrease in the incidence, compared with early January, when kids returned to school. 

Also, the official said that Covid incidence rates are now seeing "a quick and clear decrease."

Yet, teachers and special needs education students will still be eligible for free tests. 

Transmission rate lowest since October 2021

Indeed, a week ago the incidence rate of the previous 14 days peaked at 6,048 cases per 100,000 inhabitants – as of February 1, the figure has already fallen 500 cases to 5,549.

And this is set to further decrease, since the incidence rate of the past seven days is 2,263 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which means less than 50% than the IA14, another sign that the situation is improving. 

Cabezas reminded that they are still "very high figures," but welcomed the improvement, "especially significant for those under 15."

The positive figures also show that the transmission rate, the average number of times somebody positive with Covid-19 will transmit the virus to another person, has been below 1 since January 29 – the first time the indicator is under the threshold for the first time in over three months.

As for the transmissions, this Tuesday marked the first weekday in over two months with new cases below 20,000 – the figure reached 50,000 in mid-January.

86% of population immunized

Cabezas said that now 86.6% of residents in Catalonia have some sort of immunization, either after vaccination or due to having had the virus.

Indeed, 2,224,455 cases have been detected since the beginning of the pandemic, roughly a quarter of the total population – and 6,186,143 people have been fully vaccinated, 77.7% of the inhabitants.