CORONAVIRUS/4,800 students affected by class suspensions in Taipei, New Taipei
Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) COVID-19 cases reported at a preschool and an elementary school have resulted in 4,800 students in Taipei and New Taipei being affected by class suspensions, according to officials in the two cities.
Most of the class suspensions, which range from three to 14 days, are related to a COVID-19 cluster at a preschool in Banqiao District, New Taipei.
A teacher at the preschool tested positive on Sept. 5. Since then, nine students at the school, four of their mothers and the one-year-old younger sister of one of the students have also tested positive, bringing the number of cases in the cluster to 15.
The preschool also operates as an after-school care center in the afternoons, and since some of the students that attend started to study at different schools in Taipei and New Taipei after the new semester began on Sept. 1, several schools have been required to suspend classes.
Some of the suspensions are being imposed as a precautionary measure, meaning that none of the students there have tested positive for COVID-19, but have been listed as contacts of COVID-19 patients.
In New Taipei's Banqiao District, an elementary school and two preschools (including the one that has reported the cluster) have suspended classes, and so has a daycare center in Sanchong District, affecting a total of 2,252 students, according to the city's Education Department.
In Taipei, 473 students at five schools have been affected by class suspensions. These include a preschool in Zhongshan District, an elementary school and two preschools in Zhongzheng District and an elementary school in Datong District.
In addition to the preschool cluster, a student at an elementary school in New Taipei's Zhonghe District tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, leading to class suspensions for the school's 2,075 students.
The student was tested after his grandmother was confirmed with the disease.
In total, the preschool cluster and the positive case at the elementary school in Zhonghe has resulted in class suspensions for 4,800 students. Health officials have not yet determined the sources of these infections.
According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), if one COVID-19 case is confirmed at a school, that student's class will be suspended for 14 days. If two COVID-19 cases are confirmed at a school, the entire school will shut down for 14 day.
However, local governments can impose stricter restrictions and also enforce precautionary class suspensions, the MOE said.
Also on Tuesday, Miaoli County's Department of Health said that one of the children who has tested positive in the preschool cluster visited the Baishatun area on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4.
The child's family went to a 7-Eleven, the Baishatun Gong Tian Temple and a nearby beach, the department said.
The department is setting up a testing site near the temple from 1:30-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday to allow residents to get tested for COVID-19, the department said.
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