School Classroom

The Department of Education confirmed today (March 16) that public school’s will remain open as the Government takes “preventive and protective measures”, while “working closely with the Department of Health” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A spokeswoman reiterated today that to date, “there are no confirmed cases in Bermuda and our schools are in the preparation and preventive phase”, while “listening carefully to our school communities”.

“Any decision to close a school or to dismiss specific classes will be taken after reviewing several factors, including the impact on community spread of Covid-19, impact on schools and impact on families,” she said.

Earlier today, Bermuda High School for Girls announced that it would be closing today after a pupil was screened for Covid-19 “as a precautionary measure” over the weekend.

But the spokeswoman said the Department of Education had not been notified of “any specific situations” related to the virus in public schools.

Moving forward, she said the Government would continue to monitor daily reports from the health ministry and principals.

“Should there be a confirmed case in any of our schools — of students, staff, parents, or temporary visitors — families will be notified and decisions made according to CDC guidelines, following a risk assessment in coordination with the Department of Health.”

Preventive measures in place included daily monitoring of public school pupils and staff for absenteeism and illness, in addtion to  ramped up cleaning and disinfecting in common areas.

Field trips, sporting events and school assemblies have been suspended.

The spokeswoman also noted that the decision to keep public schools open “is based on science” and that any decision to close a school would “only be taken when specific conditions are identified by health professionals”.

On that note, she added: “The safety and security of our children and our community are our main focus and we are diligently working and monitoring the situation in the interest of Bermuda.”