By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
SEVERAL students and a teacher at a private Catholic institution on Grand Bahama were sent home this week to isolate after it was discovered a classmate had tested positive for COVID-19, The Tribune has learned.
The school administration at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy was informed by the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit on Tuesday that one of its students had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Parents were subsequently notified by the school by email yesterday. The Tribune understands only one classroom was affected at the school, and that deep cleaning and sanitisation is being carried out of that affected room and other possible areas.
Attempts were made to contact school officials, however, The Tribune was told that no one was available for comment.
In a letter emailed to parents, obtained by The Tribune, the school noted that it had been informed of the matter on Tuesday by the Surveillance Unit. The decision was taken to send all the students of the class home.
“On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the Surveillance Unit informed us that we had a student who tested positive for the coronavirus,” the letter said. “Out of an abundance of caution, the students of that class were immediately sent home.
“Because of the strict protocols we have in place at the school, we have been advised that there is no need to isolate or quarantine any other students. The affected classroom and any other area that may have been impacted will be deep cleaned and sanitised by an independent company prior to the students’ and teacher’s return,” the letter continued.
“This is a very sensitive time for our school community and the family of the student. We ask for your cooperation, patience, and prayers. More importantly, we request that the established protocols are followed at all times. May God continue to guide our steps and restore everyone to good health.”
Calls made to the Catholic Board of Education yesterday were unanswered. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy comprises a primary and secondary department. The school utilises both the virtual learning platform and in-person learning at its campus in Freeport. This is the first reported case of a student at the school testing positive for COVID-19 since the reopening of school.
According to the latest COVID-19 update from the Ministry of Health, Grand Bahama had two new cases on March 9. Overall, COVID-19 cases continue to remain at a low level on the island.