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Several schools on Antigua have taken the decision to abandon face to face learning and return to online schooling as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks on their campuses.

On Tuesday, the administration of the Seventh Day Adventist schools, which include the secondary school, primary schools and a preschool,  informed guardians that in person teaching would be suspended until at least 7th January.

According to Principal Robert Nicholas, a teacher who had been present at a professional development session on Tuesday tested positive for COVID-19. Principal Nicholas said that the break for the remainder of this week would be used to sanitise the premises and ‘further monitor’ the situation to ensure the safety of both the institution’s faculty and student body.

Similarly, the principal of Sunny Side Tutorial also informed parents of its Grade 5 Scotland students on Tuesday that a child in that class had tested positive for the virus.

They have decided that the class’ teacher and all students will remain in quarantine from 5th January to 18th January 2022.

During this time, they will use Google Classroom to continue classes for the quarantined children.

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While the specifics of the situation at the Antigua Baptist Academy are less clear, they too have reportedly taken steps to thwart the spread of the virus on their campus after an individual on that campus had been exposed.

Reports, which have now been confirmed by the Director of Education, Clare Browne, indicate that the Villa Primary School campus has also been shut down for at least the rest of this week as a result of COVID-19 exposure.

The St. Joseph’s Academy has also fallen victim to the virus.

A student at the St. Joseph’s Academy is believed to have triggered the shutdown of that institution while the Villa Primary school exposure was the result of five students who reportedly tested positive for the virus.

Director Browne confirmed that during the shutdown the well defined protocols established through cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education intended to manage exposure and cases of infection or outbreaks in the nation’s schools will be implemented. These measures include quarantine and through sanitisation of all areas on campuses which may have been open to exposure to infected persons.

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