19 students, 10 teachers test positive for COVID-19 at dorms

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony has disclosed that some 37 positive COVID-19 results were confirmed thus far, in relation to testing at dorms across the country.
Collaborative efforts between health officials and the Education Ministry had materialised in the testing of students, teachers, and other employees who were returning to the dormitories. This is since these persons were coming from communities which had reported spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Presently, a total of 19 students, 10 teachers, and eight auxiliary staffers have returned positive tests. While they remain in isolation, testing will continue. The Health Minister did not divulge which administrative regions these persons are from.
“We have been able to continue testing at all the dorm facilities and currently, we have [over 30] persons who have been positive. This would include both teachers, students and staff of these dorms. That’s something that we have been looking at. We have currently 19 students, 10 teachers and eight staff that have tested positive,” Dr Anthony shared.
The Health Ministry had implemented a system during the last reopening of school, whereby all students from dorms were tested after returning to school. It was continued this term, using rapid antigen and PCR tests.
“We started a programme whereby as students come into these dorm schools, we’ll be able to test them. We deployed both our antigen rapid tests to these areas as well as PCR tests. So, all the students who would come back to the dorms would be tested and we’d then be able to assure the Ministry of Education that they have a safe environment,” the Minister was quoted as saying this week.
Last November, eight students who were being housed at the President’s College dorm, had tested positive. That was out of a total of 139 students housed at the educational facility. All eight of them were from Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni). After that, five teachers, six students, and two ancillary staffers in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) also tested positive.
Meanwhile, all swabs for COVID-19 from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) students had returned negative results.
Schools have reopened for Grades 10, 11 and 12 and those attending practical, technical and vocational institutes. The Education Ministry has given parents the option of keeping their children home if they were uncomfortable sending them back to school given the COVID-19 situation. Parents can also opt to have their children transferred to the nearest secondary school – a process that can be completed in less than 24 hours.

New cases
For Thursday, there were 33 new cases of COVID-19. As a result, there are now 6469 confirmed cases and 167 deaths.
The Ministry’s dashboard revealed that there were five persons in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 20 in institutional isolation, 287 in home isolation and eight in institutional quarantine.
From the 39,892 persons tested to date, 3336 males and 3133 females returned positive results. Presently, 5990 persons have recovered.
New cases were detected in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two, Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Seven.
The cases in Regions Eight, Nine and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) remain at 201, 279 and 523 respectively. (G12)