The Chief Medical Officer has “directed that all West Pembroke P1 and P2 students and associated teachers be quarantined for 14 days,” the Ministry said this evening.
Public schools have already had in-class learning suspended and transitioned to remote learning, and this is the latest quarantine directive for a school, following after those for CedarBridge Academy, Clearwater Middle School, and Dellwood Middle School.
A spokesperson said, “Based on an updated risk assessment and in response to potential exposure to Covid-19 by the Ministry of Health, the Chief Medical Officer has today directed that all West Pembroke P1 and P2 students and associated teachers be quarantined for 14 days. This means that they must stay home from school and other activities, for 14 days from 4th December 2020 until and including 18th December 2020 in response to potential exposure to Covid-19.
“This also includes not attending birthday parties, extra-curricular activities, social engagements, other places of employment, public places, public transport, grocery stores, etc. Non-essential visitors must not enter the home. For children, the child’s main caregiver(s) and close contacts within the home [including brothers and sisters] must also remain at home.
“Other household members who are able to separate [separate bedroom and bathroom, no common spaces] from the child within the home are not required to remain at home unless your child is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or has a positive Covid‐19 test. All public health guidelines must be followed by these other household members inside and outside of the home. This includes mask-wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing.
Minister of Education the Hon. Diallo Rabain added, “Covid-19 Testing Students and associated teachers must be tested for Covid-19. Please speak with your doctors about getting tested. Alternatively, the Ministry of Health is organizing special testing clinics on Friday, 11th December 2020 between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Perot Post Office. Priority for testing will be given to students and associated teachers.
“The principal of West Pembroke primary will send a link for student and associated teacher’s testing appointments to be booked. Students must attend with a responsible adult who can consent to test on behalf of the child. The responsible adult must bring a valid, government-issued picture ID for themselves and if possible for the child that they are consenting for.”
Minister Rabain added, “The Ministry of Education and all the school communities and families within the Bermuda Public School System are grateful for all the work that the Ministry of Health nurses and staff have done to test, care and address the concerns of teachers.”
“There has been some concern in the community about the letters from the Chief Medical Officer as it relates to instructions given to our school families. We have contacted Health and can reassure our BPSS families that the instructions given are unique to each school. The instructions and advice given are dependent on the data compiled from that school.
“For example, if one school is directed to test after 14 days and another school has not, this is not an error, it is the advice given after the Department of Health does its risk assessment of the individual school. We understand this is a stressful time, but we must continue to follow the advice given by the Department of Health.”
A spokesperson said, “Ministry of Health Assessment and Further Advice: Once these test results are completed, the Ministry of Health will assess all test results. Negative test results by a particular child or family will not automatically mean release from quarantine. The Ministry of Health will inform the school and affected families on updates to the recommended public health measures.
“If you have further questions concerning Covid‐19, consult your healthcare provider or contact email@example.com in addition, all public health guidelines are listed at https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus.”