St Augustine South Primary advised to close due to Covid-19 scare, no change to SEA exam date

EPL Infrafred Sauna

The St Augustine South Government Primary School (SASGPS) is set to become the latest school to shut its doors, due to a Covid-19 scare.

Principal Carlene Duncan notified teachers this evening that a SASGPS student is the primary contact of a Covid-19 patient and the Ministry of Health has recommended the temporary closure of the school ‘pending clearance’.

Photo: Minister of Education Anthony Garcia.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament)

Teachers were all directed to quarantine and await further instructions from Dr Osafo Fraser, county medical officer of health, St George East.

SAGPS is the third primary school to suspend classes for SEA students and shut its doors in similar circumstances. Over the past seven days, the Maraval RC and Tacarigua Presbyterian schools also temporarily shut down following positive cases.

Despite the disruptions—and a requested postponement by TTUTA president Antonia Tekah-De Freitas—Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said today that the SEA examinations should proceed as scheduled on 20 August.

“We remain committed to providing an environment that is safe for learning and teaching, particularly during this time, while all schools continue to observe the protocols aligned to the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 guidelines,” said Garcia. “We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation and if needed, augment and adjust for the benefit of all within the school community.”

The Ministry of Health today confirmed its seventh locally transmitted case of the novel coronavirus since 21 July, as Trinidad and Tobago’s Covid-19 counter climbed to 154. The person was described as ‘a primary contact of a recently positive Covid-19 patient’. (Editor’s Note: This rose to 156 by Wednesday with two more locally transmitted cases.)

Photo: A child is swabbed for Covid-19.

The ‘upward tick’ of cases, according to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, follows a dormant period of three months—between 26 April and 21 July—when the twin island republic did not have a positive case outside of returning nationals.

The confirmed cases within the local populace appear to come from at least five different clusters.

Members of the public are are urged to call Covid-19 hotline numbers: 800-WELL (Trinidad) and 800-HEAL (Tobago) if they feel unwell; or they can report a possible breach of Covid-19 regulations by calling 555, or sending messages—inclusive of photographs and videos—to the Police App or via Whats App to 482-GARY.

Editor’s Note: The Ministry of Health confirmed, as of noon on 29 July 2020, that Trinidad and Tobago had 156 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

Of the last two positives, one was ‘a primary contact of a recently positive patient’ and the other ‘had contact with Covid-19 positive patients’.

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