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Jun 8, 2021

Teachers & Students Testing Positive for COVID-19

While an account of how many children have been infected so far could not be shared, the spread of the virus in schools is an eventuality that the country was attempting to avoid.   Two weeks ago, several schools in Belize City and up north had to close down after positive cases of COVID-19 were identified. It is not sitting well with parents or the Ministry of Education as some three hundred and fifty schools have been given the green light to reopen for in-person learning inside the classrooms. This is after over a year of remote learning. Today, however, the Minister Chebat confirmed that at least three other schools in the Stann Creek district, including Santa Cruz Primary School and Independence High School, have also been closed after positive cases were identified among students and teachers.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“Some two months into that phased reopening process, we have had to close three schools on a temporary basis. In fact, one of them is reopening – two of them are reopening again on Monday. So we share the concerns of everyone, but again, as I keep making this consistent point. We have to be guided by our public health officials. If the Ministry of Health, our public health experts at any time, if they say to the Ministry of Education, it is not safe for us to have our schools open for face-to-face instruction, then our schools will be closed.”


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health & Wellness

“In the south, three schools have now closed to sanitize and to make sure that everyone in their schools are tested and so forth. But this is very concerning to us and I can tell you that we have reached out to the Minister of Education to discuss this matter and to discuss the way forward because the number of cases that we are seeing arising out of the schools is of great concern to us.”


Last Friday, Education Minister Francis Fonseca said that unless a directive is issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, all schools will likely reopen in September. Minister Chebat says that, along with the Ministry of Education, they will continue to monitor the situation.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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