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Students, staff members testing positive for COVID-19 'in tandem' with rise in community cases: MOE

Students, staff members testing positive for COVID-19 'in tandem' with rise in community cases: MOE

A student receives a shot at a COVID-19 vaccination centre for students on Jun 3, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Ministry of Education)

SINGAPORE: A number of students and staff members have been testing positive for COVID-19 "in tandem" with the increase in community cases in the past weeks, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday (Jul 26).

At Raffles Girls' Primary School, where a Primary 1 student has tested positive for COVID-19, the entire school conducted home-based learning on Monday.

According to a circular sent to parents seen by CNA, school will resume on Tuesday for Primary 2 to 6 students. The circular did not indicate when Primary 1 students will return to school. 

Various media outlets have reported COVID-19 cases in several other primary schools and at least one secondary school. CNA has asked MOE for confirmation of this.

READ: Schools to suspend in-person CCAs, no group activities for PE classes as part of tighter COVID-19 measures

In response to earlier queries by CNA, an MOE spokesperson said: "In tandem with the increase in community cases in the past weeks, we have also seen a number of students and staff testing positive for COVID-19.

"The students have mild symptoms, and thus far, all the students are recovering well."

If there are confirmed cases, schools will take "necessary measures to safeguard students and staff and curb the risk of any transmission", said the spokesperson.

This includes issuing leaves of absence "quickly" to close contacts of confirmed cases and implementing home-based learning, either for the affected levels or the entire school if necessary. Close contacts are also issued quarantine orders by MOH.

In addition, those who have been put under the Health Ministry's Health Risk Warning will be placed on approved absence. They will only be allowed to return to school after their exit polymerase chain reaction swab test result is negative.

Students and employees who have been put under Health Risk Alert will be able to return to school, but "should limit their social interactions as an added precaution, monitor their health and see a doctor promptly if they feel unwell", said MOE.

"MOE is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to review if any adjustment to safe management measures in schools is needed in line with national guidelines," it added.

READ: From tuition classes to staycations - What you need to know about Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

Last week, MOE said it was suspending all in-person co-curricular activities (CCAs) from Jul 22, in line with the COVID-19 task force's announcement to tighten restrictions with a return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).

For physical education (PE) classes, there would be no group activities. Schools would also only conduct individual mask-off activities for PE classes in outdoor or well-ventilated venues.

All mask-off music and drama classes would be suspended.

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Source: CNA/jt(ac)


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