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Schools Closed To ALL Students

In a change to previously announced arrangements, schools in Guernsey will be closed to ALL students on Monday and Tuesday.

The Director of Public Health says the decision has been taken because of the number of confirmed staff and student cases of Covid-19.

It had earlier been announced that schools, colleges and nurseries would be closed to all but vulnerable students and the children of essential workers.

That has now changed, and all children have been asked to stay away from their usual settings on Monday and Tuesday.

"Closing sites on Monday and Tuesday will support Public Health efforts to contact trace and test as many students and staff as possible, after 18 cases were confirmed across seven education settings since Friday night."

The States of Guernsey says the situation is 'rapidly evolving' and more cases are expected to be confirmed.

At a press conference at midday on Sunday, it was confirmed that Guernsey has 35 known active cases of coronavirus. Six are believed to be community seeding and two people are in hospital.

"The scheduling team will contact relevant student groups and staff at schools where cases have been confirmed to book them in for tests, if these are required. Please do not contact Public Health to instigate testing yourselves. However, if you or your children develop symptoms please contact the clinical helpline 756938/756969 or your GP. For more information about symptoms please visit https://covid19.gov.gg/guidance/symptoms."

All sites where cases have been confirmed will be deep cleaned.

The situation will be reviewed on Tuesday. A press conference is already scheduled for that day.

The authorities say schools and the College will begin a soft start to Distance Learning from Monday afternoon and information will be shared with parents in the days ahead.

"Schools will be in touch with parents to provide relevant materials although it is important to note that this Distance Learning will not seek to replicate a normal school day."

Dr Nicola Brink says she is concerned about the number and spread of cases across seven separate school settings.

"As we know there are many connections between schools via staff or families, we are expecting more positive cases to be identified. Our contact tracing team is working as hard as possible to locate everyone who needs to be tested, and this closure will support our efforts. It will help us build a better picture of what is going on.

We know this will cause some issues for parents of vulnerable students and those who are essential workers. But it is really important that we don’t have sites open for those students until we have had the opportunity to put into place measures to reduce any risk in educational settings where we know there are cases. We are closing all education sites because we simply don’t know the scale of the problem and we need to assess this carefully."

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