Munro moves all classes online after 21 COVID-positive cases

POTSDAM, St Elizabeth — Munro College has reverted fully to online learning after 21 students and two teachers tested positive for COVID-19.

At the same time, Principal Mark Smith says he is unsure when boarding will resume at the all-boys school.

“We have taken the decision after the unfortunate and regrettable situation we encountered last week when we were advised that 21 students had tested positive for COVID-19,” Smith told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

“It has resulted in the boarding school closing its doors. We did that last week Tuesday,” he added.

“…We did some random testing… [in] two classes and we were surprised to find out that 80 per cent of the students that tested positive were asymptomatic,” Smith said.

He told the Observer that a meeting is set for this weekend to discuss the situation faced by the institution.

“We have a board meeting on Saturday where we will be looking, in a very intense way, at the present situation and try to come up with possible solutions as to how we could safely and responsibly reopen the boarding school,” he declared.

“What is paramount for us is the safety of staff and students and unless we can come up with some mechanism where we can lower the risk factor, particularly dealing with the asymptomatic [cases],” he added.

Despite transitioning to a digital classroom being a part of the school’s vision from last year, there are still challenges being faced, said the principal.

“The reality is you’re doing something since 1856 which is delivering sessions face-to-face. It is a bit nave to think that we will have the same level of impact when we only starting online learning for a few months,” said Smith.

–Kasey Williams

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