Teachers and Students Await PCR Test Results

All Public School Staff Required to Submit Negative Test Result Before Returning to School

All teachers and administrators in Bermuda’s public schools had their Professional Development Training day. Site-based training was in the morning and system-based training was held in the afternoon.

According to the Ministry of Education’s policy, all staff and students must provide a negative PCR COVID test before entering any public school building on Wednesday January 5.

According to a statement from the Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards, only a negative PCR test will allow entry into schools and rapid antigen test results will not be accepted for entry. Those staff and students who do not show evidence of a negative PCR test will not be allowed into school.

“[Staff who did not report] on the site on January 4 are to have their names recorded in the Bermuda Public School System (BPSS) staff absence report,” The statement read. “ The report must be submitted by 9 a.m. so that staffing levels for each school can be assessed.”

Staff who were absent Wednesday due to waiting for their PCR test results from January 1,2, or 3 must have had that information indicated next to their name. Once this information is confirmed, those staff members will not be marked absent and be classified as “awaiting test results.”

“Any staff who are absent because they have not taken a PCR test to prepare for the return to school on January 4 will be deemed absent until their case is reviewed,” the statement read. “ Staff members who fall into this category are required to submit an explanation to the Commissioner of Education by 10 a.m. on January 4. Explanations will be reviewed and a determination will be made on a coding of their absence.”

Earlier this week,the Bermuda Union of Teachers issued a response statement to its members, informing them that if they were unable to secure a pre-return to work appointment over the weekend, they should do so as soon as possible. If they have not received a PCR result, they should take a rapid antigen test to secure their status.

A TNN source who wishes to remain anonymous expressed through a message that the Education Commissioner and the Ministry of Education released two separate statements which almost conflicting with each other.

An email was sent on behalf of the Commissioner as well. The email informed those who did not inform anyone of their return to campus status or who have not been tested on January 1, 2 or 3 to have their pay deducted until a negative test result is submitted.

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