TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five schools in New Taipei have halted classes as of Tuesday (Sept. 7) amid COVID-19 infections and suspected cases among students.
On Saturday (Sept. 4), a kindergarten in New Taipei City closed for 14 days after nine COVID-19 cases tied to a cluster infection were discovered. On Tuesday, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) announced that two elementary schools are suspending all classes, while three others are implementing partial closures.
At a preschool that is part of an elementary school in New Taipei's Zhonghe District, a student is believed to have contracted the virus from their grandmother. The student was found to have a Ct value of 32, meaning that they had been infected quite some time ago.
The student's class is being suspended for 14 days, while the school will close for three days starting on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, parents at Sinpu Elementary School in New Taipei's Banqiao District on Tuesday received a notice that a student attending a preschool on the campus is a suspected case. As a precaution, Sinpu Elementary announced that it would be closed from Sept. 7-9.
An additional three schools in the city are suspending a total of five classes, and a childcare center will also halt operations.
In response to the new cases, New Taipei has strengthened its Level 2 measures, including restrictions on visitors at hospitals and long-term care and nursing facilities, with only one person allowed to visit patients in hospitals. The limit on gatherings has been lowered to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.
Hou said that all teachers and students in the affected classes must be tested for the coronavirus. Even if they test negative, they must enter an epidemic prevention hotel to undergo quarantine for 14 days, he said.
He advised all teachers and students to observe three major points: First, if any teacher or student experiences suspicious symptoms, they must alert the authorities. Second, they should not go to class or work if they experience symptoms. Finally, in the event of a suspected COVID infection, they are asked to visit the nearest community screening station or use a home testing kit.