Director of Education goes ahead and issues COVID-19 advisory to all public and private schools; no word from Health Ministry

Although there still has been no official word from the Ministry of Health on the known rise in COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Education is advising public and private schools that keeping safe is the utmost priority.

In a May 31 letter to all principals, Director of Education Clare Browne acknowledges the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and says that steps must be taken to protect faculty and students.

Schools are being told to ensure that all hygiene protocols are followed, including hand washing; cleaning of spaces/surfaces after use; and the use of correct sneezing/coughing etiquette.

Parents are also encouraged to provide personal-hygiene pouches for their children and take measures to boost the students’ immune systems.

The Ministry recommends that ventilation be maximized and that all staff and students who have a mild cold or flu-like symptoms should wear a mask.

This is to be done in conjunction with temperature checks; and should anyone present with a high fever, that person should seek professional attention.

According to Director Browne, students with flu-like  symptoms who are writing exams should be placed, within the classroom, where there is minimal contact with others.

But if a student tests positive for the virus, or is ill otherwise, every effort should be made to ensure that his/her exams are administered at a later time, Browne says.

The education director says teachers, students or ancillary staff should wear a mask while at school, and visitors to the compound should do the same. 

Anyone presenting with flu-like symptoms should seek to do business with the school remotely or postpone it until a later date, the director says, adding that protecting oneself is, in turn, protecting the community.