CORONAVIRUS/High school with two COVID-19 cases to close temporarily

Taipei, A high school in northern Taiwan, at which two COVID-19 coronavirus infections have been confirmed, will close Friday for eight days, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday but did not name the school.

With the closure of the school from March 20 to 29, its 1,650 students will be sent home, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (???) said at a CECC press briefing.

According to the school, however, some of its 154 teachers and other staff members will still have to go to work, and some classes will be conducted online.

The decision for the one-week suspension was made after the CECC said earlier in the day that a second case of COVID-19 had been confirmed among the students at the high school.

On March 15, a student who had recently been to Greece was diagnosed with COVID-19, and on Thursday one of his classmates was confirmed to have been infected.

Since March 15, all the students in that class have been in home quarantine, which is why the school is being closed for one week instead of two, according to the CECC.

Under CECC regulations, if one student at a school contracts the virus, the class will be sent into home quarantine for 14 days, and if two or more people at a school develop the disease, the school will be closed for two weeks.

The high school authorities told CNA Thursday that apart from offering online courses, they are preparing to give after-school and weekend classes to make up for the lost time, when the school reopens on March 30.

They also said that the entire school and its environs will be disinfected again on Friday, with special attention given to the classroom of the two infected students.

Meanwhile, Pan advised that students avoid close contact with others who have traveled abroad recently. On Monday, the government announced a ban on overseas travel by students and teachers at the kindergarten to grade 12 level (K-12), which will last until the end of the semester.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the start of the current semester was postponed for two weeks until Feb. 25, which means it is scheduled to end later, on July 14.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel