Five cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at different local schools in Singapore as part of the Ministry of Health's (MOH) extended surveillance testing. The four students and one staff member are from Anglican High School, CHIJ Katong Convent, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent, Geylang Methodist Secondary School and Hwa Chong Institution.
Since June 2, the MOH has been testing all school staff and older students aged 12 and over with acute respiratory infection (ARI). All five cases had mild symptoms and were most likely infected during the Circuit Breaker period, and not after school re-opening.
A statement from the Ministry of Education said:
“While positive, the tests for all five cases revealed low viral loads. A repeat test using new samples showed that all five cases were negative.”
All five schools have been “thoroughly cleaned and disinfected” and will remain open; 29 staff and 100 students who were in contact with the confirmed cases in school have each been issued with a 14-day Leave of Absence. The student from Hwa Chong Institution was last in school on April 7; of the other four cases, three were last in school on June 3, while one was last in school on June 2. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that they were unlikely to have been infectious while in school.
The MOE added: “Like all schools, the affected schools have implemented precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and staff, and minimise the risk of transmission. The five students and staff were screened on entry with no fever or visible flu-like symptoms.”
Both local and international schools reopened their campuses on June 2, and students attending local schools (Primary 1-5 and Secondary 1-3) are currently on a weekly rotation between Home-Based Learning (HBL) and lessons on campus.
The MOE assured parents that: “While we expect from time to time to see such confirmed cases being reported through a more extensive COVID-19 testing regime, we will continue to quickly isolate those who are at risk of being infected through LOA and HQO. This will prevent transmissions and enable the rest of the school system to continue to function.”