Three schools in Zambales had to postpone their pilot run of limited face-to-face classes originally set Monday, November 15, after some teachers and staff tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced.
DepEd Zambales said in a statement that in San Marcelino National High School and Baliwet Elementary School, an undisclosed number of teachers tested positive after undergoing COVID-19 antigen tests on Sunday, November 14.
Meanwhile, Banawen Elementary School had to postpone the first day as teachers waited for the results of their tests.
DepEd Zambales did not disclose the number of COVID-19-positive teachers, but in a report by Inquirer.net, San Marcelino National High School principal John Abordo said two of their staff were positive.
In Baliwet Elementary, five teachers tested positive, according to the report.
The seven other schools in Zambales were allowed to proceed with their classes after all 61 teachers tested negative for COVID-19, and completed other preparatory requirements.
COVID-19 testing was a requirement for personnel who would participate in the pilot run. For students, though, this was not required, as the DepEd said the swabbing process may be “traumatic” for young children.
“The [DepEd Zambales] schools division superintendent ensures that classes will begin in these schools once the teachers and other personnel will have a negative result,” the division said.
The DepEd originally allowed 100 public schools to begin the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes on Monday, as they were in areas that were considered low-risk for COVID-19.
The schools implementing the pilot run were prepared to strictly abide by health protocols, which included temperature checks, QR codes as IDs for contact tracing of children, and plastic barriers between desks.
On Monday, the Philippines became the last country in the world to open its doors to students since the coronavirus pandemic began. – Rappler.com