Acting on reports of positive COVID-19 tests attained for three students at the Amelia’s Ward Hostel in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Regional Chairman Deron Adams on Tuesday convened a meeting with Regional Education Officer Nigel Richards, Regional Health Officer Dr Gregory Harris, and head of the Region 10 COVID-19 Task Force, Dwight John, to address the way forward.
The Regional Democratic Council (RDC), in a statement issued on Tuesday, noted that “while some logistical issues had prevented the transport of the three students into isolation care, they are now isolated and resting comfortably, since all three had presented as asymptomatic”.
The RDC has said concerns had been raised by the hostel’s staff as well as the staff at the Linden Foundation Secondary School, that these students had been attending classes and, as such, may have posed a risk of transmission to other students and teachers.
However, it was noted that Dr Harris and Regional Education Officer Nigel Richards had convened a meeting with the teachers at the school, and had advised that a contact tracing effort had commenced. “…and any person who felt that they had come into contact with these students should present themselves for a PCR test to be done, after which they would be accorded a medical certificate that would allow them to isolate at home while awaiting their results”, the statement continued.
It added that only one teacher opted to have the test done, while the others opted out of the exercise and so remain on duty at the school.
According to the statement from the RDC, a similar request has been made to obtain parental permission for the conduct of PCR tests on the other students at the hostel and in the school who may have come into close contact with those students who had tested positive, but thus far no parent had provided permission for same.
According to the RDC, while some teachers were requesting to be sent home, the officials at the meeting convened by the Regional Chairman were unanimous in their determination that the only measure that would allow for the teachers to be sent home to isolate was for them to do a PCR test, which would require them to go into quarantine or isolation at home as they await their results.
A team from the Regional Health Department has set up a testing station at the school to allow for the testing of any student or teacher who may want to access the service.
The RDC has said it would continue to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of the students and staff.