HCM City tightens COVID regulations as city caseload increases

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Students at an elementary school in HCM City’s Bình Thạnh District wash their hands before entering in February. The city has mandated that if more than half the students in a class contract COVID or were in contact with a patient, the class has to switch to online learning. – Photo thanhnien.vn

HCM CITY – If more than half the students in any classroom in a school test positive for COVID-19 or were in contact with a patient, the entire class has to switch to online lessons, the HCM City Department of Education has said.

Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, its director, said schools had been working with health authorities to deal with the rising number of COVID cases.

Students who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the disease less than three months ago can stay home for five days, and return to class if they test negative on the fifth day.

Students who are not fully vaccinated have to wait for seven days.

If two or more cases are found in a class in a day, local health authorities will assess the epidemiological factors and make changes to the class’ schedule such as reducing it, with online learning being the last resort.

If a school has two classes with COVID cases, it also has to work out with health authorities how the rest of the school can continue.

In the case of kindergartens, if a case is found in a class, the whole class must stay at home for a week so that the kids’ health can be monitored.

According to the city Department of Education, during the last working week from February 21 to 25 there were 1,083 COVID cases in schools.

The city has been seeing a spike after Tết with people travelling during the holidays and most students returning to school after a long hiatus becoming a double whammy. – VNS

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