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COVID school “outbreak” limited so far

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Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2021. 10:22 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The “outbreak” of COVID-19 at several Belize City schools this week has been mostly limited thus far, said Minister of Education Francis Fonseca to reporters yesterday, Wednesday.

At Queen Square Anglican Primary School, which suspended face-to-face classes on Monday, one teacher has tested positive with the rapid test but is awaiting the results of the PCR test; but students who came into contact with her and other teachers at the school have been tested and the results are uniformly negative.

Fonseca said the teacher’s contact tracing established that her contraction of COVID-19 was linked to the Princess Casino outbreak.  The teacher has a relative who works there.  

Wesley Lower Primary School on Albert Street saw four students between the ages of seven and 12 test positive, with the youngest student showing mild symptoms; the others are asymptomatic.

All of their classmates and teachers have been tested and again the rapid test shows negative results. 

In attempting to assuage the fears of parents and students, the Minister of Education points out that of the three hundred and fifty-two schools that have since reopened across the country, these two schools in Belize City are the first to have been directly affected by any COVID outbreak, specifically the one at the Princess Casino.  According to Fonseca, once the established protocols are strictly adhered to, the chances of an outbreak in schools will be reduced considerably.

He explained, “in other schools that have been given the green light, there have been cases where there have been suspected cases where people have high fever and that sort of thing and the correct procedure has been followed and at the end, thankfully, it has turned out not to be anything more than a regular flu or so.  And so there has not been any positive cases of COVID.  But as long as we adhere to the protocols that have been put in place and agreed upon between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the schools, because it’s a long consultation process that led to these protocols.  As long as all of us do our part and all of us take our responsibilities very seriously we should not have any serious problems.  Of course, there will be cases here and there but we have to manage those cases, that is going to be the case for the entire country as we reopen the economy and try to get back to some level of normalcy.”

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