Mandatory mask wearing reinstated in schools


KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — In light of an increase in confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases in institutions, the Ministry of Education and Youth has called for mandatory mask use in schools.

The Ministry also stated in a bulletin issued on Thursday that if a student or staff member arrives at school without a mask, they should not be denied entry.

"Students and staff who do not wear masks should not be denied entry to school." Administrators are instead being asked to assist these individuals with a mask to facilitate the teaching and learning process. Administrators are also reminded to "re-sensitize all key stakeholders about the protocols to be observed, including frequent hand washing and temperature checks," according to the Ministry.
Furthermore, the Ministry has authorised administrators to use remote learning where appropriate. During the COVID Conversation on Wednesday, it was revealed that at least six high schools had already switched some students to online classes due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.

"This allows for the continuation of learning, the sanitization of classrooms/buildings, the observance of quarantine standards, and the testing and treatment of affected individuals." "The Regional Director must approve the decision to revert to remote learning for all students," the Ministry stated.
"Any approval granted for remote learning for all, a class set, or even a year group(s) must be communicated in writing to the Regional Office immediately." It should be noted that provisions should be made to continue the learning programme for students who do not have access to online learning, according to the Ministry.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, announced during the COVID Conversation on Wednesday that Jamaica has entered the fifth wave of the coronavirus. He also urged Jamaicans, including those eligible for booster shots, to get vaccinated.


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