Schools supervisor: Covid19-positive child sent to school

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sherry-Ann Rollocks-Hackett, Schools Supervisor III, Division of Education, Research and Technology. – THA

Schools supervisor III, THA Division of Education, Research and Technology Sherry-Ann Rollocks-Hackett has revealed that a child recently tested positive for covid19 and was still sent to school.

At the post Executive Council news conference on Wednesday, Rollocks-Hackett said the division had to quickly put protocols in place to quarantine the entire class and its teacher.

She said since the re-opening of the schools on April 20, the division has received reports of some students testing positive for covid19.

“We have had a few, not many, and they spread between the primary and the secondary, but not enough for us to be worried about. I am seeing reports of incidents in our sister isle of Trinidad but we don’t have a large quantity of our students who are testing positive,” she said.

Rollocks-Hackett said many of the students may also be in homes where their parents have tested positive and they are primary contacts.

“Based on that they have to quarantine. But we have our house officer and the nurses they have been exercising due diligence in ensuring the safety of our students.”

She added, “Once the information gets to the schools, the principals are guided to ensure that the office of the schools supervisor III or the other supervisors are informed and that information is transmitted with alacrity to the health unit and also the OSH department and our safety officers.”

In light of the fact that covid19 is still prevalent, Rollocks-Hackett said there needs to be more collaboration between the school and the home regarding the safety of children.

“Before we had covid, it was customary for parents to send children who are ill to school and the school found itself in a position where they have to take care of those children. Sometimes they even have to take them to nearby health centres to receive attention when whatever might be besetting them took place or started revealing itself…

“Now that we are in the period of covid, we cannot continue along that line and we continue to say to parents: if you are aware that your child is not well, please do not send your sick child to school.”

She said once they develop flu-like symptoms they should be tested to determine their fitness to return to school “so we do not have incidents where large sections of schools or classes have to be put on quarantine.”

Rollocks-Hackett pleaded with parents to get their children tested if they become ill.

“Sometimes, parents might say I do not want my child to remain at home. I know you might be concerned about that but you cannot just think about the single child. We have to think of all the other children and their safety in that particular class that your child might be a part of.”