February 07, 2020
Stepping Up Precautionary Measures in Schools
1. To enhance the protection of our school students and staff against the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, MOE had earlier announced additional precautionary measures to minimise congregation of students in large numbers. These measures included:
- Large group and communal activities such as assemblies, camps and mass celebrations will be suspended
- Recess times in schools will be staggered
- School-based CCAs and after-school programmes may continue, in smaller groups
2. In view of MOH's announcement that they have stepped up their risk assessment from DORSCON Yellow to Orange, MOE will further enhance current provisions to protect our students and staff. We will suspend all external school activities and inter-school activities until the end of the March school holidays. These will include the National School Games as well as other activities such as Learning Journeys. These additional measures are intended to help schools minimise exposure of students to the public and avoid mixing of students across schools.
3. In addition, one of the new cases confirmed by MOH today is a teacher from Victoria Junior College (VJC) who tested positive for 2019-nCoV infection on 6 February. She developed symptoms on 2 February and was last in school on 31 January.
4. VJC is thus further stepping up precautionary measures to protect its school community. Students, teachers and staff who had recently come into contact with the teacher will be issued with a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA). Co-curricular activities in VJC have also been suspended for two weeks with immediate effect. Instead of lectures, there will be more tutorial size classes. The school is also cleaning and disinfecting the school premises thoroughly.
5. MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with schools, parents and the community. We have rolled out an educational package to teach students about the virus transmission and what they can do to prevent it. We also urge all school students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene, which has become extremely important. This includes washing their hands frequently with soap, wearing a surgical mask if they have a cough or runny nose to prevent infecting others, and seeing a doctor if they are sick and returning to school only when fully recovered.