Schools and colleges to close completely for two days after Covid-19 confirmed at seven locations

SCHOOLS, colleges and early years providers will close completely for all students for the next two days, after Covid-19 cases were found in seven education locations.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink (29156152)
Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink (29156152)

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink took the decision due to the number of confirmed staff and student cases of Covid-19.

Closing sites on Monday and Tuesday will support Public Health efforts to contact trace and test as many students and staff as possible, after 18 cases were confirmed across seven education settings since Friday night. More cases are expected to be confirmed.

Dr Brink took the decision to close education sites to all students – including vulnerable students and children of essential workers – to help stop the rapid transmission of Covid-19.

She said they were concerned about the number of cases identified and their spread across a number of sites.

'As we know there are many connections between schools via staff or families, we are expecting more positive cases to be identified,' she said.

'Our contact tracing team is working as hard as possible to locate everyone who needs to be tested, and this closure will support our efforts. It will help us build a better picture of what is going on.

'We know this will cause some issues for parents of vulnerable students and those who are essential workers. But it is really important that we don’t have sites open for those students until we have had the opportunity to put into place measures to reduce any risk in educational settings where we know there are cases. We are closing all education sites because we simply don’t know the scale of the problem and we need to assess this carefully.'

The scheduling team will contact relevant student groups and staff at schools where cases have been confirmed to book them in for tests, if these are required. The public should not contact Public Health to instigate testing themselves.

All sites where cases have been confirmed will be deep cleaned and the situation will be reviewed on Tuesday before any further decision is taken.

Schools and the college will begin a soft start to distance learning from tomorrow afternoon and information will be shared with parents in the days ahead. Schools will be in touch with parents to provide relevant materials, although it is important to note that this distance learning will not seek to replicate a normal school day.

If any islander or their children develop symptoms they should contact the clinical helpline on 756938 on 756969 or their GP. For more information about symptoms please visit https://covid19.gov.gg/guidance/symptoms.

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