News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Ministry and Department of Education wish to provide the public with an update on quarantine measures for Bermuda Public Schools.

The Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain shared: “The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health have worked closely together to ensure that a more robust risk assessment policy is in place, and quarantine measures that strike a balance of both the safety of staff and students and our schools remaining open for in-person learning.

“Once a potential COVID-19 exposure case is identified, the Health School Surveillance Unit quickly issues a letter to the school which is then forwarded to all staff and parents to alert them while a Risk Assessment is conducted.  As a reminder, the Ministry of Health is the only entity that knows who has tested positive outside of the parent or guardian and the student’s doctor.

 

“The Risk Assessment allows persons who are close and casual contacts to be identified. The Health School Surveillance Unit will advise the school who is deemed a close or a casual contact and then provide letters to be issued to them containing the information needed of the next steps required. This revised policy changes the original directive of automatically quarantining all students in a class. While all students will be required to get a PCR test, only students identified as close contacts will be quarantined while casual contacts will be allowed to remain in class after their negative test result is received.

“This robust process allows schools to resume normal functions as soon as possible and those at risk to be attended to within hours. It is imperative that staff, parents, guardians, and members of the public understand this process and do not become alarmed by media publishings that may have been written in a way that does not reflect what is actually happening. Parents and guardians are also reminded that ONLY affected persons will receive letters from the School Surveillance Unit with directions to follow.”

Minister Rabain concluded: “Since staff and students have returned to in-person learning, there have been small-scale COVID-19 developments managed within our schools that do not warrant the public to be concerned.

“Since school has opened in September, there have been 35 positive cases to date.12 in Bermuda Public Schools and 23 in the Private Schools.

“As I have shared multiple times, I am thankful for the partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. We have worked together to quickly identify and mitigate risks while keeping our schools safe to be open for in-person learning.

“While we do what is needed to keep our schools safe, it is still critical that each of us do our part. Wear your mask properly, practice social distancing, sanitise your hands and stay home if you are sick. Also, remember if you are eligible to be vaccinated, please consult your medical doctor to learn the facts and consider being vaccinated.”