Saturday 28 November, 2020

Education Minister confident health officials will handle Ellerslie

The Ellerslie School is to be closed for 14 days following COVID-19 exposure.

One student has tested positive for the viral illness so far, after coming in contact with family members who have also tested positive for COVID-19. The young girl and her five family members are all in Isolation at the Harrison Point Facility in St Lucy now.

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Despite this development, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw stands firm that she is "confident the Ministry of Health will wrestle this case to the ground."

The temporary closure of The Ellerslie School is from tomorrow, Monday, October 5 to October 19.

The plea of Bradshaw at this time is for parents and students to cooperate fully with the Ministry as they conduct contact tracing. She stressed that students must wherever possible stay home.

And she said that for peace of mind, any student or member of staff who wishes to be tested but did not come into contact with the young lady will still be allowed to access the test.

Bradshaw said that though the physical classrooms will be closed for two weeks, the students will be accommodated online but there are about 100 students who do not have access to devices, and it is the Ministry's intention to get devices and access for them.

During the break, the school will also be cleaned under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Bradshaw reiterated that she is "confident in the ability of the Ministry of Health." 

Having reached out to union representatives - the Barbados Secondary Schools' Teachers' Union and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Minister also thanked the unions for cooperating to "help us find a way forward". She admitted that this is not an easy matter but "what we are united on now even more than ever is to step up the protocols", sanitization and so on, and she pushed for students and staff to wear their masks properly. 

The student only tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (October 3).

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