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COVID-19 recorded in a primary school

By Nneka Parsanlal 

The Maraval RC School in Trinidad has been closed and the Ministry of Health is now surveilling 90 primary contacts of a child who recently tested positive for COVID-19. 

The child tested positive overnight after another member of the family also tested positive for the virus during last week. 

The child, a student expected to sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination, attended classes for three days of the last week despite exhibiting symptoms for the virus. 

As a result, 90 primary contacts which includes 76 other children have been notified of the need to home-quarantine and will be tested for the virus if they begin showing symptoms. 

This child is one of three children in a household of eight people. All three children and two adults have tested positive for the virus overnight. 

The Catholic Education Board of Management said in an update Saturday that the child was last at school on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

“Further to my letter yesterday, I can now confirm that indeed one of our own standard five students at Maraval RC Primary School and his family have tested positive for COVID-19. The family is now at the Caura Hospital. The last time any student or school staff member would have been in direct contact with the student who tested positive was Wednesday July 22, 2020.

“As was advised by the Chief Medical Officer, all students of the standard five class are to remain under quarantine. Quarantine means that the student does not leave his/her home nor interact with any other person who is not a member of his/her own household.”

“Furthermore, we have been advised that a representative from the Ministry of Health or the Regional Health Authority will be in direct contact with the parent/guardian of each standard five student over the weekend to inform on the date, time and location when the student will be tested, via a swab sample taken from the back of the throat, for COVID-19. This exercise starts tomorrow and will include all members of the teaching staff and all other personnel who were on duty at the school during this week.”

“In addition, the school will be fumigated and professionally sanitized on Monday. The RC Parish Church, which is on the same compound as the school, will also be fumigated and sanitized, although the students did not have access to the Church this past week. Out of an abundance of caution, all Masses at the Parish Church have been cancelled with immediate effect.”

“Once more, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant regarding the onset of any new flu-like symptoms and to use the COVID-19 HOTLINE (877-WELL) for further advice.”

It’s interesting to note here that all protocols were followed at the school and all students wore masks and face shields.


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