School in northern Spain becomes first to close after teachers test Covid-19 positve

School in northern Spain becomes first to close after teachers test Covid-19 positve
Photos: AFP
A primary school in the Basque Country has become the first in Spain to entirely shut to students after several teachers tested positive to Covid-19.

Authorities in the northern Spanish region said on Thursday that they had no choice but to close a primary school in the Basque town of Zaldibar just three days after it reopened.

The school’s 330 pupils who returned to class on Monday after a six month break due to the coronavirus were told to stay at home Thursday.

It was not made clear how many teachers had tested positive nor how long the school was expected to be closed.

Reports have filtered in all week of individual class groups being sent home to quarantine after a case of coronavirus was detected but it is the first time that the whole school has been closed.

Guidelines state that if someone tests positive in an “education bubble” – which consists of a smaller than normal class size who remain together for classes and during breaks –  then the group must all isolate for 14 days.

READ MORE Q&A: What happens when there is a Covid-19 outbreak at a school in Spain?


 

The start of the academic year has been staggered this September with regional education boards deciding when schools could welcome back pupils in each of their territories.

Images broadcast on Spanish television show long queues and crowds forming outside some buildings as parents dropped off their offspring at the school gates.

However, Education Minister Isabel Celaa insisted that the reopening of schools had gone very well, with cases detected only in a few dozen places.

“We have 28,600 schools…and as of yesterday we had incidents in 53,” she told state broadcaster TVE on Thursday. “This means that school management and administrative staff have done a spectacular job.”

The latest data published by Spain’s ministry of health show that 543,379 cases have been reported since the onset of the pandemic, with 50,952 in the past week.

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