3 preschool staff test positive for Covid-19, children & other staff in contact placed on Leave of Absence

10,400 others so far have tested negative.

Sulaiman Daud | May 21, 2020, 04:32 PM

Three preschool staff have tested positive for Covid-19 as part of ongoing proactive screening for all preschool and early intervention staff, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) announced on Thursday (May 21).

10,400 others have tested negative, however, the agency said.

As a precautionary measure, ECDA said it directed a 14-day Leave of Absence for the group of children and staff who were "recently present" with the confirmed cases in the three centres concerned, which it stopped short of naming.

Contact tracing by the Ministry of Health (MOH) is ongoing, and close contacts of the three staffers will be placed on quarantine orders.

The preschools will be closed for two days for thorough cleaning and disinfection measures, and will then be allowed to reopen for children and staff not placed on Leave of Absence.

Preschools to reopen on June 2

The one-time swab tests being conducted for preschool staff are part of a "stepped-up monitoring" initiative by MOH before preschools are reopened on June 2.

The tests began on May 15, and are expected to finish at the end of this month.

Preschools suspended services during Circuit Breaker

As part of the Circuit Breaker, preschools, student care centres, special student care centres and early intervention (EI) centres suspended their services.

However, childcare centres remained open to serve a limited group of parents working in essential services like healthcare, and are unable to find alternative care arrangements.

ECDA announced on May 14 that all preschool staff were to undergo one-time swab tests, from May 15 to 26.

And on May 19, the government announced that preschools and care centres will reopen in stages, beginning on June 2.

However, precautions will still be taken, such as requiring staff and children aged two and above to wear masks.

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Top photo via Minister Desmond Lee's Facebook page