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A trio of students at a school in Basel, Switzerland, got more than they bargained for when they faked positive COVID-19 tests in a bid to get out of school, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The episode highlights the tenuous loopholes in remote schooling students as well as possible issues with Switzerland’s COVID-19 contact tracing app, as the trio falsified SMS messages from the app.

The result: The prank resulted in 25 classmates — plus several teachers — at Basel’s Kirschgarten High School being quarantined for 10 days.

What's next: Although the school won't expel the students for their prank, it is planning to pursue criminal charges for falsifying “health-relevant documents,” reports Reuters.

  • “This is not just a childish prank, this is a serious incident,” said Simon Thiriet, a spokesperson for Basel’s education department.

Go deeper

Updated Apr 8, 2021 - Health

College students are eager to get vaccinated

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly 90% of college students say they probably or absolutely will get vaccinated, according to a BeatTheVirus/Generation Lab poll exclusive to Axios.

Why it matters: College students have contributed to the nationwide spread of the virus, and their vaccination is necessary in bringing the pandemic under control before variants spread any further.

Updated Dec 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 8, 2021 - Technology

Health care leads the way for top private AI firms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new list of the top 100 private AI companies shows that health is driving investment in the industry.

Why it matters: COVID-19 has shown the power and potential of AI applications for health, and the growth of the field will continue long after the pandemic has finally ended.