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Jakarta Post

West Sumatra city closes schools again after staff test positive for COVID-19

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 20, 2020   /   02:01 pm
West Sumatra city closes schools again after staff test positive for COVID-19 Students of SMA 1 state senior high school in Bogor, West Java, attend a student orientation session in a classroom on Monday. However, the school is continuing to implement an online learning policy amid fears of COVID-19 transmission. (JP/P.J. Leo)

All schools in Pariaman, West Sumatra closed their doors again and returned to online instruction on Monday after two staff members of a school in the city tested positive for COVID-19.

The two were found to have contracted the novel coronavirus after taking part in swab testing administered on 1,500 school staff members in the city last week.

"The tests were conducted on Friday and two of the results came back positive on Sunday," Pariaman Education Agency head Kanderi confirmed on Monday.

Kanderi said a teacher who tested positive was believed to have had contact with 90 students and 40 other teachers and staff members since school doors reopened on July 13.

The school itself, which Kanderi said had enforced COVID-19 health protocols during classes and operations, has 580 students enrolled.

Read also: Indonesia starts school year with caution during pandemic

According to the West Sumatra COVID-19 task force, Pariaman is one of four regions in the province known as areas with low-risk transmission. The three others are Pesisir Selatan regency, Sawahlunto city and Pasaman Barat regency.

The city was among 104 regencies and cities considered to be "green zones" which were allowed by the government to reopen junior and senior high schools on July 13, which also marked the start of the new school year.

Since then, Pariaman had allowed fourth-year elementary students and senior high schools to return to schools, West Sumatra COVID-19 task force spokesperson Jasman Rizal said.

"However, the schools in [Pariaman] will again be closed since we have found two new cases," Jasman said as quoted by kompas.com.

Jasman said authorities in Pariaman had started contact tracing and would perform swab tests on those who had interacted with the two people who tested positive. (afr)