TESTING OF STUDENTS AT SCHOOLS

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

The Valley – As the Ministry and Department of Education continue efforts to keep our teachers, and children safe. Parents/guardians are reminded that the Public Health Act provides the Ministry of Health (Government of Anguilla) with the authority to test persons exposed to contagious diseases. Parental permission is not required for the testing of students under these circumstances.

With the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning, the newly implemented COVID-19 health protocols for all schools are as follows:

• The previous approach of quarantining entire classes was discontinued and replaced with on-site rapid testing of students. Only the students testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate.

• Students with elevated temperatures, who appear symptomatic or have been directly exposed to a known positive case will be rapid tested. All rapid testing at schools will be done by the Schools’ Health Team. Students with positive test results will be asked to isolate and their close contacts will, in turn, be tested and/or asked to quarantine.

• Resultantly, any student who is identified as a close contact of a student who tests positive, will be rapid tested daily, for a period of 7 days, immediately following their contact’s positive result. Once these students continue to test as stipulated, they can remain at school and continue face-to-face learning.

• Parents(s) of children identified as close contacts of positive cases, who do not want them to follow the testing regime as outlined above, will be required to keep their children at home for a period of 7 days. They will be re-admitted to school following the submission of a negative test result.

• Teachers, students and support staff who appear to be symptomatic should stay at home and present themselves for testing to verify their status.

• Students displaying symptoms at school will be isolated, rapid tested and their parents will be contacted for prompt collection.

In addition to these, regular hand washing or sanitization and proper mask-wearing are mandated for teachers, students and visitors.

The Ministry and Department of Education assure all education stakeholders that all protocols put in place are in the interest of protecting both staff and students in these unprecedented times. The support of parents and guardians is therefore crucial to the successful implementation of these measures. To this end, we look forward to your ongoing support and cooperation.

– Press Release