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Two Covid-19 cases detected at St Bernard’s Lower Primary School

Johnny Bugeja

Year 2 pupils in St Bernard’s Lower Primary School have been instructed to stay at home and self isolate after two positive cases of Covid-19 were detected within the “school community.”

In a communique to parents late on Monday night, the school said both cases were within the Year 2 social group bubble. A spokesman for No.6 Convent Place later confirmed that the individuals were a teacher and a pupil.

The Minister for Public Health and Education, Dr John Cortes, said the teacher and pupil had not returned to school since the symptoms began.

"The Department [of Education] has been on top of it and we've isolated 43 children and five teachers who are not going to go to school for 10 days," Dr Cortes told the Chronicle.

"Hopefully, we will get no more positives, you can't take it as a given that they have passed the infection on. The two positives are well and hopefully it will pass and we'll see what happens."

Dr Cortes added that this was expected to happen and the Contact Tracing team have been working hard to inform any contacts.
According to the communique the Contact Tracing team have been liaising with the Department of Education and school staff and are in the process of informing all parents of children and relevant staff who are required to self-isolate up to and including ‪next Monday‬, September 14.

Only individuals who are deemed to have been in close contact with the positive cases will be instructed to self isolate.

The school is advising that close contact is defined as close proximity within an enclosed area for a period of time longer than 15 minutes.”

Parents have been assured that if the Contact Tracing Bureau does not contact them there is no need for their child to self-isolate.

"I can reassure everybody that everything is being done absolutely right and all the steps are being taken," Dr Cortes said.

Dr Cortes added that as the months have progressed the resources are now in place to quickly react to any cases.

"Everybody is working very, very hard to make sure we contain this," he said.

"We know a lot more about the virus, we know how to get rid of it and we are working very hard. I'm sad that we have had to do this, but I'm very happy at the way we've done it."

Children from Year 2 will commence online learning via Seesaw for the duration of this period.

“Parents of children who attend St Bernard's Lower Primary school are advised to send their children to school as normal if they have not been contacted by the Contact Tracing Bureau,” No.6 Convent Place said.

“Siblings of children who have been asked to self-isolate should attend school as normal unless otherwise advised by the Contact Tracing Bureau.”

“Individuals who have specific concerns arising from any of this information are asked to contact the school's Head teacher.”

This post was updated at 11.45am to include further information from the Minister of Public Health and Education Dr John Cortes

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