Several dorm students test positive for COVID-19 – Health Minister

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Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony on Monday announced that several dorm students have tested positive for COVID-19 after they were swabbed before returning to school.

During the COVID-19 update on Monday, he informed that testing was done during the weekend as students turned up to the dorms for the Easter semester. The total number of infected cases is yet to be determined since testing is still ongoing.

“Over the last couple days of testing, we did find a number of students who were positive and those have been isolated. Generally, these students are all symptomatic, meaning they have no signs or symptoms of the disease…It’s still an ongoing exercise. We haven’t totalled the amount as yet. We expect that there will be quite a few because, with every one of the dorms, people are coming from different areas and therefore, we’ll have to keep monitoring,” he said.

This publication understands that positive students are symptomatic and will be isolated from the general population. Throughout the 10 days, they will be supplied with educational material to continue lesson activities.

“We have to isolate them because if we put them with the general population of students, then they are going to spread it. Isolation would be required, that they stay by themselves in a separate room. They will be given food and educational materials so that they can continue their learning. They will have to remain there for at least 10 days,” Dr Anthony informed.

The Health Ministry had implemented a system during the last reopening, whereby all students from dorms were tested after returning to school. It was continued this term, using rapid antigen and PCR tests.

“We started a programme whereby as students come into these dorm schools, we’ll be able to test them. We deployed both our antigen rapid tests to these areas as well as PCR tests. So, all the students who would come back to the dorms would be tested and we’d then be able to assure the Ministry of Education that they have a safe environment,” the Health Minister informed.