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Girls College students test positive for coronavirus

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  • “So, they tested positive and their parents did the right thing and let us know because the pupils were here. We did the right thing, we did as much contact tracing as we could with the assistance of the Covid-19 taskforce who have been guiding us with the process with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in the loop as well,” said Mrs Ross.

THREE Lower Six pupils at Girls College in Bulawayo contracted Covid-19 forcing the school to conduct mass testing on learners in selected classes and staff members on Tuesday.

The pupils who tested positive have gone on mandatory isolation in line with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s Standard Operating Procedures.

While Lower Six pupils are yet to be enrolled at public schools as the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) is yet to release 2020 Ordinary Level results, those in private schools that sit for Cambridge examinations have resumed classes.

Girls College headmistress Mrs Les Ross said the school has taken all the precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.

“We had three of our learners contracting Covid-19 and that was before the Easter holiday break. They were three boarders who intended to go for Easter holiday to South Africa and had to go for (Covid-19) testing.

“So, they tested positive and their parents did the right thing and let us know because the pupils were here. We did the right thing, we did as much contact tracing as we could with the assistance of the Covid-19 taskforce who have been guiding us with the process with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in the loop as well,” said Mrs Ross.

She said the pupils who tested positive are isolating at their homes.

Mrs Ross said as a precautionary measure, the school conducted Covid-19 tests on both learners and staff members on Tuesday as school reopened after the holiday break.

“Yesterday when the girls came back they were tested including the grounds staff, maintenance staff, and teachers,” said Mrs Ross.

She said the national Covid-19 taskforce was dealing with possible new infections.

“Some tested positive (using the antigen) then negative. The antigen tests had a few positive cases but when the same individuals took the PCR tests, they tested negative,” she said.

Mrs Ross said the school was also counselling pupils so that it addresses stigma associated with Covid-19-positive tests.

“We are very, very strong on counselling and yesterday while they were being tested the principal and the vice-principal moved around discussing with pupils and we also have a qualified nursing sister who was counselling the pupils,” said Mrs Ross.

She has also written to parents and guardians informing them of the Covid-19-positive cases recorded at the school including measures that the institution took to address the situation. – Chronicle ■

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