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Eight schools impacted by COVID, says Williams

Published 27 January, 2021


Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

Source: LOOP NEWS 

Fayval Williams

Eight of the 216 schools that were approved for face-to-face classes have been impacted by suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Minister of Education, Fayval Williams has shared.

Williams, who was making a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said four of the seven regions – 1, 2, 5 and 7 were affected.

“To date, there are no suspected cases (of COVID-19) in regions 3, 4 and 6,” Williams said.

In Region 1, which is comprised of Kingston and St Andrew, the Penwood High School and Donald Quarrie High were the institutions affected.

Williams explained that Donald Quarrie High had a suspected case of a student being infected with the coronavirus which was later confirmed by a positive test.

The school was closed on January 21 for sanitisation and psychosocial intervention and the Ministry of Health and Wellness has advised that the school should remain closed until it has completed contact tracing.

Williams told the House that Penwood High had a staff member who tested positive resulting in the closure of the school for deep sanitisation. The school will reopen for face-to-face classes on February 1. All individuals who came in contact with the positive case have been quarantined.

In Region 2, which comprises St Mary, St Thomas and Portland, the St Mary High School has delayed its reopening plans after a senior member of the administrative leadership team was exposed to the virus. The staff member has since been quarantined.

“This member’s spouse tested positive and the board decided to delay the reopening for a later date,” Williams said.

In Region 5, which is made up of Manchester and St Elizabeth, four cases of COVID-19 were reported; one at Sydney Pagon High, one at Fullerswood Primary and Infant School, and two cases involving parents at Munro College.

A student at Sydney Pagon High tested positive for COVID-19 on January 13 after which the school was closed. It is scheduled to reopen on February 1 following sanitisation and psychosocial activities.

“Fullerswood reported a teacher testing positive for the coronavirus and the school was closed on January 14. The school was reopened on January 20 following deep cleaning,” said Williams.

As it relates to Munro College, the Ministry of Health and Wellness informed that two parents of students who travel to school (day students) tested positive for COVID-19.

“As such face-to-face learning has been suspended for the students who travel to school until the contact tracing, sanitisation and psychosocial activities are completed. These students have resumed remote learning activities, face-to-face will continue for boarders,” Williams shared.

She said that as a matter of caution, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has notified Munro and Hampton that the students/boarders who had left for the weekend must be quarantined upon return for 14 days before they are allowed to re-engage in face-to-face activities.

Meanwhile, Region 7 which covers the parish of Clarendon, reported two schools being closed – Vere Technical High and Kemps Hill High due to a positive case and increased cases of community spread respectively.

Vere Technical halted face-to-face operations on January 4 after a member of its ancillary staff tested positive for the coronavirus. The school was subsequently sanitised on January 15 and 18. Psychosocial activities are ongoing while remote learning resumed.

Kemps Hill High is closed due to the increased number of positive COVID-19 cases within the communities where the students reside.

Based on consultations with the parish health inspectors, both Kemps Hill and Vere Technical are scheduled for reopening on February 1 the education minister said.

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