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Darasamuth School closed over infections

PHUKET: Darasamuth Phuket School has closed for seven days after a cluster of seven students and one home room teacher were found to be infected with COVID-19.

By The Phuket News

Monday 15 November 2021, 10:25AM

Image: Darasamuth Phuket School

Image: Darasamuth Phuket School

The school announced the closure late yesterday afternoon (Nov 14).

“This last week we have seen 8 new cases of positive for Covid-19 infections. One student from Kindergarten class 3/5 received a positive test result. The student in question has been off school since November 2nd, and therefore did not put the rest of the students in KG 3/5 at risk,” the school said in its announcement.

“Another student in IEP 5/8 Group A. Five students in EP 4/9, who were considered HRC and became positive while in home quarantine, as well as one homeroom teacher who also tested positive while doing home quarantine. 

“The students as well as their teacher have been in home quarantine since Tuesday November 9th,” the announcement added.

Public health personnel from the Laem Chan Health Center in Wichit on Saturday assisted administering ATK tests to teaching staff, kitchen staff and school bus drivers. “All had negative test results,” the announcement said.

A mass cleaning and sterilisation of all classrooms, offices and common areas in every building around the school was carried out on Saturday, supervised by Rewat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor), the school confirmed.

The school will now remain closed through Sunday, Nov 21 for further deep cleaning of all classrooms, offices and common areas and air conditioning units and to allow the air to clear and the remaining virus to die down, the school said.

Onsite learning will be postponed and distance online learning will commence from today via Zoom.

“All students will follow normal Mon-Fri schedule for this week during Zoom sessions. Students will not be split into Group A and B for studying,” the school administrators explained.

High risk contact students as well as teachers will undergo another round of testing and report the results to the school.

Low risk contact students and teachers are to monitor their symptoms daily and report any findings to the school as soon as possible.

“On November 20th and 21st 2021 the school will provide another round of ATK tests for students and will cover the costs for these tests. Any students who are absent on the above dates will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test certificate to their homeroom teachers before returning to school,” the school confirmed.

“We at Darasamuth Phuket School are concerned for the health and safety of all students and staff, as well as any person who has contact with our school, hence, we are following strict guidelines to comply with The Department of Health policies,” the school administrators assured.

“We want to remind parents and students to keep yourself and those around you safe, by taking extra precautions when going out in public, avoid crowded areas, wear masks and wash your hands often, and report to us any symptoms that could be a cause for concern.”

Of note, no government officials have reported any clusters of infections at any schools in Phuket. The notice by Darasamuth School was shared by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, only after the school made the announcement.

The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) has yet to publicly recognise the cluster, and the PPAO has yet to report any action being taken at the school.

The Phuket News was informed by a concerned parent over the weekend of 13 young students at Baan Sapam School in Koh Kaew being taken to “hospitel” quarantine after confirmation of infections there.

The concerned parent provided photos of the students being accompanied by adults onto songtaew buses provided by Koh Kaew Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBotTor) as they were being taken to quarantine.

No officials in Phuket have publicly recognised any infections at the school.

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