Covid Test 'Mandatory' for Returning AD Students

With schools set to reopen in the capital in January, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has issued instructions about the processes that schools, and students, will need follow.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Many parents, pupils and teachers are looking forward to the return to the classroom in Abu Dhabi on January 3rd. Before arriving at the school gate, however, all students, teachers and support staff will have to submit a negative Covid-19 test. The tests will be provided free of charge until December 31st at drive-through centres managed by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).  

ADEK also announced that school classes will be limited to a maximum of 15 students. Social distancing as well as masks will also be required and bubbles for KG remain at a maximum of 10 pupils.  

On August 30th schools in Abu Dhabi had started receiving students in phases along with the option to continue with online learning for the first semester of the academic year. The second semester starts on January 3rd. In the update guidelines ADEK stated that each school should be divided into three or four macro-bubbles for all staff and students across grades.  

"There should be absolutely no mixing of spaces outside of these macro-bubbles," says ADEK. "For example an art teacher may teach both Grade 1 and Grade 3 classes and therefore would be assigned to a larger macro-bubble encompassing other Grade 1 and Grade 3 teachers and students.  If there was an incident this would allow for the isolation of only that macro-bubble for testing and further action".  

If there is a single case of infection in a particular school all contacts must self-isolate for 14 days, possibly including members of their household. Where there are two or more confirmed cases the school is required to move to distance learning for a minimum of 14 days.  

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