A language school has insisted that teachers and students attending the school are observing mandatory quarantine requirements after members of staff and students have tested positive to coronavirus. However, sources close to the school have told the newsroom that teachers who were in contact with others that have tested positive were expected to call in for work.
Newsbook.com.mt has reached out to EF Language School asking it to clarify the situation after three members of staff and seven students in Malta have tested positive.
The school’s executive director told this newsroom that the team and the immediate close contacts of students have been all tested. “No further students or staff members are affected at this point. We are following the health authorities instructions.” He further explained that all direct cases and their contacts have been informed and requested to respect a fourteen-day quarantine. The school also checks the names of students as they come into school to ensure that quarantine is observed.
The school is relying on the advice being given by the health authorities and applying all the necessary protocols at the airport, at the accommodation, at the school and at the school events.
Asked about school events, the executive director said that all events being organised this year are being limited to small groups and are held outdoors.
The executive director told this newsroom that according to the school’s regulations the wearing of face masks at all times has been mandatory since 1 July. Students and teachers are being asked to frequently practise good health hygiene as well as observe social distancing rules.
Asked whether there have been any students who tested positive upon their return, EF’s executive director replied that in such cases the same procedure applied and they would inform the health authorities to carry out contact tracing.
The school is also requesting incoming students to present a certificate showing that they are negative for coronavirus as from this week. Students who do not present a negative coronavirus certificate will be given the option to have it done privately upon arrival. “Once the negative result is out, they can resume their experience normally,” he said.
Sources speaking to Newsbook.com.mt spoke of frustration, underlining that teachers have been kept in the dark. The sources explained that teachers are using the same classrooms and materials as teachers who have tested positive. They added that at the time teachers and students were not required to masks or face shields at the time, noting that it was only from this week that the regulation came into force.
‘Ensuring students, staff and community are safe’
The school has underlined that no teachers were asked to come in from quarantine to teach. It stressed that the use of personal protective equipment was enforced since 1 July. Everyone was provided with masks on a daily basis and sanitizers were placed everywhere. The school also provided printed leaflets and posters while a taskforce teams checks all students daily at all times. Temperature and name checks are also being carried out.
Cleaning is happening on a regularly basis ensuring that the rooms and work spaces are sanitized frequently.
The executive director highlighted that a communications group was set up to update staff on a regular basis through short messages and online meetings.
EF has been accepting adult students who present a negative coronavirus swab test conduct up to a maximum 72 hours before they land in Malta for over a week now. Students who fail to present such certificate are placed in preventive quarantine until the swab test is carried out. The school has partnered with a local private hospital and students are tested in their room, this so as to ensure that students, staff and the community are safe, the school said.
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