The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers, has taken some time to make some rough calculations with regards to the numbers involved should quarantine be necessary once school starts in September as usual, as the Ministry seems to want to insist on pushing for.
The average family size in Malta is 3.8 people per household. Since we cannot effectively have a 0.8 of a child, we worked on an average of 4 people per household.
Starting off with Junior classes, the class composition would usually comprise at least 1 teacher, at least one LSE, and 26 children. Thus, assuming these people stay within their bubble and do not mingle with other classes or other members of staff, 28 people would be in quarantine. But that does not stop there. Taking the family average of 4, given that anyone within their household would have to quarantine too, one infection in a Junior school class would have 104 people in quarantine until swabbed and tested negative.
The situation in a Senior school is even more critical. In a senior school the class composition would usually comprise at least 8 subject teachers per day, at least one LSE per class, and 26 children per class. Assuming that each of the teachers is only working with one form, unlikely as that may be, and that each form has a minimum of 4 classes the number of people involved would end up being 12 adults and 104 children at school: 116 sent off on quarantine. And of course, there are the households: thus 1 infection in a senior school class would yield a minimum of 464 people in quarantine until swabbed and tested.
In 2019 the number of people on the island was 514,564. Taking that number as a baseline, 1 single infection in a Junior school would mean that at least 0.02% of the population would need to be put in quarantine while 1 single infection in a Senior school would mean that at least 0.09% of the population would need to be put in quarantine.
Should this concern also be yours, whether you are a member or a non-member, the UPE cordially invites you to take part in a survey it is currently conducting, by following the link found here, so that your voice will join ours on this issue.