Mandatory mask wearing reinstated in schools
Grade six students seated in a classroom at Mile Gully Primary School.(Photos: Kasey Williams)

KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Education and Youth has called for mandatory mask wearing in schools against the backdrop of an increase in confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases in institutions.

In a bulletin issued on Thursday, the Ministry also advised that if a student or staff should come to school without a mask, they should not be denied access.

“Students and staff who may turn up without a mask should not be denied access to school. Instead, administrators are being asked to assist these persons with a mask to facilitate the teaching and learning process. Administrators are also being reminded to re-sensitise all key stakeholders about the protocols to be observed, including the frequent washing of hands and temperature checks,” the Ministry said.

In addition to this, the Ministry has authorised administrators to revert to remote learning where applicable. During the COVID Conversation on Wednesday, it was revealed that at least six high schools had already reverted to online classes for some students due to a rise in COVID-19 infections.

“This provides for the continuation of learning, the sanitising of classrooms/buildings, the observation of quarantine standards as well as for the affected persons to be tested and treated accordingly. The decision to revert to remote learning for all students must be approved by the Regional Director,” the Ministry said.

“Where the approval is granted for remote learning for all, a class set, or even a year group(s), this must be communicated in writing forthwith to the Regional Office. It must be noted that provisions should be made to continue the learning programme for students who do not have access to online learning,” the Ministry added.

During the COVID Conversation on Wednesday, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the announcement that Jamaica has entered a fifth wave of the coronavirus. He also urged Jamaicans to get vaccinated, including those who are eligible for booster shots.

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