Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Premier: 'COVID-19 results to determine when Red Bay Primary reopens'

Premier Alden McLaughlin

Premier Alden McLaughlin

The results of the coronavirus (COVID-19) tests that have been conducted since a Year 2 student tested positive on Friday, will determine when Red Bay Primary School will reopen.

According to Premier Alden McLaughlin, with more than 200 tests conducted on Friday and more tests expected in the ongoing process, the opening decision will solely be "dependent on science," which has guided the steps of the government since the start of the pandemic.

McLaughlin said: "That [science], I believe, is a large part, responsible for the tremendous success we have seen so far. We have not responded to public opinion or to public pressure in making decisions."

"And the decisions about what happens concerning the school in other words, whether it reopens on Monday or not, will depend very much on the results of the testing that is underway now."

The Red Bay Primary School has been closed over COVID-19 concerns.

The premier, who was speaking at a press conference Friday, October 9 said that should all the tests return negative results, the government and the public will be reassured that there will be no onward transmission.

McLaughlin, however, said that in the case where other tests on the child produce a confirmatory positive result and up to 10 other individuals in the more than 200 tests already conducted also return positives, the government will respond accordingly. He said this would be a major issue.

According to McLaughlin, the government had taken precautionary safety measures on the opening of school by placing each year group among the student population, in containment bubbles.

He stated that the public should remain calm and rely on the government to make the necessary arrangements for their safety.

"I know everyone is concerned and particularly the parents of the children at that school, the children, no doubt, as well and the teachers.

"I am just asking you all to hold strain and to be patient and to believe as you have believed all along that the government is doing everything that we can, acting in the public's interest and all due care and concerns and determination, to ensure the public health of the nation," McLaughlin said.

— Job Nelson

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