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Dellwood returns to remote classes after staff member tests positive

Dellwood Middle School (File photograph)

A middle school and two companies have closed their doors temporarily after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

A private school has also closed for a period after a potential exposure to the bug.

The Government also announced that all of the island’s care homes had introduced restrictions on visitors to protect vulnerable residents.

The news came as five more coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health said two of the cases came in from overseas.

One was a resident who arrived on the Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta on Tuesday, and who did not have a pretest, tested positive on arrival.

The other was a visitor who arrived on the Delta flight from Atlanta last Saturday, and who had a negative pretest and arrival test, but tested positive on the day four test.

The three other cases are residents with symptoms who are under investigation.

A health ministry spokeswoman said: “As yet, these cases appear unrelated with no links to travel or the current known clusters.”

The Ministry of Education confirmed yesterday that a member of staff at Dellwood Middle School, in Pembroke, tested positive for the coronavirus.

A government spokeswoman said that “out of an abundance of caution” eight co-workers were told by the Ministry of Health to quarantine and were not in school yesterday.

She added: “Those in quarantine were subsequently tested and one additional member of staff has tested positive for the coronavirus.”

A risk assessment was carried out at Dellwood and the Ministry of Education, following a recommendation from the health ministry, temporarily stopped “in-person classes”.

The spokeswoman said: “Teachers and parents of students who attend the school have been notified by the Ministry of Education.

“Guidance will be given by the Ministry of Health on when the school will reopen for in-person classes following a risk assessment and review of all the evidence.”

A special testing site will be available to Dellwood students, teachers and other staff at the school from 2pm to 6pm today and from 1pm to 5pm tomorrow.

The Ministry of Education will meet today and advise parents, teachers and staff on the remote learning plan for Monday.

More information is expected to be announced later today.

The Bermuda Bistro at the Beach in Hamilton confirmed on its Facebook page that a staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Management said the bar had closed its doors until early December.

Customers who may have been at the Front Street restaurant last Saturday night or on Sunday were advised to get a coronavirus test.

Aspen Re, a Hamilton reinsurance firm, said it had closed its office after a staff member got a positive test result on Thursday.

A spokesman for the firm said: "We immediately closed our office with all staff now working from home out of an abundance of caution.“

The spokesman added: “The employee experienced symptoms Monday evening and did not return to the office pending their test result.

“They are doing well and we are not aware of any other staff members experiencing symptoms.

“Aspen is providing at-home testing for our staff and their households, and we will continue to take every precaution to ensure the health of our employees as well as that of the broader Bermuda community, and are working with the Department of Health.”

Chatmore British International School, in Smith’s, closed at noon yesterday owing to a possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Brittany Butterworth, the acting director of the school, said it had closed “out of an abundance of caution” and on the advice of the Department of Health.

She emphasised no pupil or teacher had tested positive for coronavirus.

She said the school, which has 39 pupils and eight teachers, had not been advised to take any other quarantine precautions and was awaiting guidance from the department about when it could reopen.

North Village Community Club have suspended activities for two of their youth football teams after a coach and two children were caught up in a school quarantine.

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, told the House of Assembly that measures at Dellwood Middle School had “not been followed as closely as they should be”.

He appealed to the public to help halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Rabain said: “We have to do our part to ensure that the scourge of Covid does not overtake us.”

Paget, West End, Saltus clear quarantine

The education ministry also gave an update on two schools where some staff, pupils and their families were earlier affected by quarantine measures.

A spokeswoman said: “Following an assessment of the close contacts, the Chief Medical Officer has instructed that the students, families, teachers and staff from Paget Primary and West End Primary schools may be released from quarantine and resume normal activities.

“This includes returning to school.”

Pupils, their families and staff at Saltus Grammar School, where a Year 1 group was ordered to quarantine last week, were also told that they could return to normal activities.

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Published November 28, 2020 at 8:01 am (Updated November 28, 2020 at 8:00 am)

Dellwood returns to remote classes after staff member tests positive

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