New school rules for coronavirus cases announced
Public schools will no longer have entire classes quarantined if a Covid-19 case is detected, the education minister said yesterday.
Diallo Rabain added the school surveillance unit will instead contact people found to be close or casual contacts and give instructions on what to do.
Mr Rabain said: “While all students will be required to get a PCR test, only students identified as close contacts will be quarantined while casual contacts will be allowed to remain in class after their negative test result is received.
He explained the changes were designed to balance safety for staff and pupils and keep children in the classroom as much as possible.
The school surveillance unit will draw up a letter for the school to send out to affected staff and parents and a risk assessment will be carried out after a potential coronavirus exposure is logged.
Mr Rabain said: “As a reminder, the Ministry of Health is the only entity that knows who has tested positive outside of the parent or guardian and the student’s doctor.”
People at risk will be contacted “within hours” and only affected people will get instructions from the surveillance unit.
Mr Rabain said it was “imperative” for the public to understand the procedure and not to be alarmed at reports that “may have been written in a way that does not reflect what is actually happening”.
He added that there had been “small scale” incidents since schools reopened and that the cases were managed and did not warrant public concern.
Mr Rabain said there had been 35 cases detected in schools since pupils returned in September.
There have been 23 cases in private schools and 12 in public schools.