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Guidelines for students, parents and schools 08.03.2020

10. March 2020 - 6:52

The most accurate information about COVID-19 you'll find at the website of the Health Board!

 

FOR THE PARENT

 

  • We just arrived from a risk area. What to do?

There is a high probability that those returning from the risk area may carry the infection. The most recent overview of risk areas can be found on the website of the Health Board.

If you and your family have recently returned from a risk area, we ask you and your other family members to stay home for 14 days and to monitor your health. Please do not send children who have been to the risk area to school, kindergarten or other educational institution even if they do not show symptoms of the disease.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek help early. Inform your healthcare professional that you have been in the COVID-19 risk area. You should also report if you have been in close contact with people with respiratory symptoms with confirmed case of the disease. Inform the educational institution as soon as possible that the child will stay at home and the reason.

The study process during the absence shall be organised together with and in agreement with the educational institution. Educational institutions are asked to be understanding and allow students to study at home for 14 days and agree on means to check what they have learned during that time.

  • We just arrived from the coronavirus risk area. My child's classmate / teacher / principal does not consent to the child staying at home for 14 days. What to do?

It is the responsibility of the educational institution to ensure the safety of all students, including minimizing the risk of exposure to infectious diseases. If in doubt, you should contact your GP, who will provide further advice and, if necessary, issue a certificate of absence to the child. It is important to remember that as long as a person has no symptoms it cannot be suspected that they have the coronavirus disease.

  • We just came from the coronavirus risk area and we have no symptoms. My child's classmate / teacher / principal refuses to accept the child. Why?

The educational institution has the right to assess the risks and refuse to admit a child to the educational institution even if the child is asymptomatic but has been to the risk area. The educational institutions also have the right to direct them to home schooling for a period of 14 days, which is the incubation time for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Education and Research and the Health Board advise educational institutions to exercise this right carefully and to organize home-based studies in cooperation with the family.

  • My child is a student at Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium. Do I and other family members also have to stay home for 14 days?

a) In case the child is a classmate of the infected person

In this case, the child will be monitored by the Health Board as a close contact. If you have not been contacted yet, please contact the Health Board as soon as possible. All students of Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium must stay at home for 14 days. During this period, we also ask the student not to participate in sports and other recreational activities outside the home. As long as the child has no symptoms, other family members do not have to limit their daily activities.

It is important to remember that as long as a person has no symptoms, he or she cannot be diagnosed for coronavirus and is not infectious. Monitor of your own health and that of your child, and follow specific guidelines from the Health Board and the school.

b) If the child is not a classmate of the infected person but is a student of Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium

All students of Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium must stay at home for 14 days. If the child has no symptoms, his or her family members can continue their daily activities.

If the other children in the family attend other schools / kindergartens, there is no reason to restrict their attendance at school or kindergarten.

  • I live near Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium or live near a student at Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium. Do I also have to stay home for 14 days?


There is no danger around Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium. Similarly, the COVID-19 positive student in quarantine does not pose a threat if there is no further contact with this student. Children who have been exposed to the COVID-19 positive student are not infectious as long as they do not have symptoms of the disease. 

  • What should I do to prevent the risk of infection if I live near a person suspected to be infected or near a closed educational institution?

Behave as per usual and follow the common precautionary measures against all respiratory infections. The latest information on coronavirus risk assessment is available on the Health Board website.

  • How is the safety of children and the elimination of the risk of infection at Tallinn Kristiine Gymnasium ensured? Is the school disinfected?

The school premises and equipment were disinfected. The school and the Health Board will monitor the health of the students in cooperation with the parents within 14 days. If there is certainty that none of the people exposed to the infected person do not have the disease then the studies will resume. If necessary, the head of school has the right to extend the school closure period after 14 days.

  • I know that my child's kindergarten / school / course / training / hobby school mate has been to the risk area, but he/she is still in school. What to do?

It is important to remember that as long as a person has no symptoms, he or she cannot be suspected of having the coronavirus. If a child from a risk area appears to be ill and you are convinced that he or she has not yet undergone COVID-19 analysis, be sure to inform the school head, who will take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of all children.

  • My child's kindergarten / school / course / training / hobby school mate is said to have been infected with coronavirus. What to do?

Such information must be handled carefully and delicately so as not to traumatize the child or the parents. If you are convinced that your child's kindergarten / school / course / training / hobby school mate is a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infected and you are convinced that this child is not already at home or in hospital, you can ask the school management for further information.

  •  I / my child has been exposed to a suspected coronavirus case. What to do?

Monitor your health for 14 days. If you develop fever, cough or difficulty in breathing contact your family physician immediately by calling him/her, the family physician advisory line 1220 or ambulance 112.

  • My child / child's educational institution is about to have a big event which brings together students from different schools / cities. Should it be cancelled?

Event organizers should carefully consider need to carry out the event and pay attention to infection prevention information, including highlighting the Health Board's recommendations to participants.

The current situation in Estonia does not require cancelling all student activities, but students who are on observation for 14 days and who have symptoms of the disease should not attend.

In case of doubt, we recommend that you consult with your local authorities and the Health Board. Please respect the general health requirements.

  •  My child's educational institution is planning an excursion / study trip abroad. Should it be cancelled?

The Health Board advises against traveling to risk areas. The latest information on risk areas can be found on the websites of the Health Board and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We urge you to follow the usual precautionary measures for the prevention of communicable diseases and to keep in mind that airports and other transport hubs are crowded places with a higher overall risk of communicable diseases.

  • School entrance exams are coming soon, bringing together many students from different schools. Will they take place? Is it reasonable for them to do so?

The decision will be made shortly. 

 

FOR THE HEAD OF SCHOOL / TEACHER

  • I'm a teacher / trainer and I think one of my students is infected with coronavirus. What to do?

Such information must be handled with care and sensitivity, also considering the potential harm to the child. If the child is not already under medical supervision, you may wish to contact the parent and advise them to seek medical advice.

Symptoms of coronavirus are flu-like: fever at 38°C, difficulty in breathing and cough. In order to be infected with COVID-19, the patient must have come from or have had close contact with COVID-19.

In case of doubt, the parent should be informed who will contact the doctor. If it turns out to be a confirmed COVID-19 case, the Health Board will notify the management of the institution.

  • I'm the head of an educational institution. What to do in case of suspected coronavirus? Who to contact, how to share information?

In order to avoid unnecessary anxiety there is no need to inform authorities about suspicions of a student with coronavirus. The first step is to ask the parent whether the child has indeed been to a risk area or has been in direct contact with a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infected person and whether the child has undergone a coronavirus test.

If a student with a suspected coronavirus turns out to be a confirmed COVID-19 case, the Health Board will notify the head of the school and ask for a list of the student's close contacts. The Health Board will inform all close contacts and give them further recommendations.

If the child returns from a risk area or has been in direct contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case and develops symptoms of coronavirus at school, the child should be referred to a school nurse. The nurse will give the child a surgical mask, contacts the child's parents, and requests them to get there as soon as possible and asks them to contact the family doctor.

If the suspicion is not confirmed by the laboratory, the parent informs the educational institution and monitors the child at home until full recovery.

In the event that the coronavirus is confirmed, the Health Board will contact the educational institution and identify close contacts of the student with the management and the school nurse. The need for closure of a school shall be decided by the head of the school based on the specific situation and, if necessary, in consultation with the Health Board. We recommend closing the school in the case of confirmed case if it is not possible to identify all contacts.

The educational institution must inform the school family about the identified case.

The school head should also immediately arrange wet cleaning of the surfaces. Instructions that are more detailed are available on the Health Board website

Pupils and teachers who have been in close contact with the infected person must remain at home for 14 days, during which home schooling will be organized, if necessary. During this time, participation in recreational activities and public places should also be avoided. However, it is important to remember that as long as a person has no symptoms, he or she cannot be suspected of being a coronavirus carrier and is not infectious.

Heads of schools need to review their emergency plans, renew them when needed, and think through the detailed organization of the closure process.

To limit the spread of viral diseases, the Health Board recommends that the educational institution:

  • Ensure good ventilation and regular opening of windows;
  • Provide daily wet cleaning, wash chairs/tables, door handles, dining tables, etc. with proper detergent / disinfectant;
  • Clean the furniture, shelves, radiators twice a week;
  • Clean and disinfect toilet facilities and surfaces daily;
  • Provide adequate hand washing facilities and foot-mounted waste containers in toilets. Hands must be dried with a disposable paper towel.
  • Inform students and staff about the need for hand hygiene. Wash hands with warm running water and soap and use an alcohol-based hand disinfectant. The proper hand washing guide can be found here. Please place it in the toilets in a visible place for students. Younger students should also be shown the correct hand washing technique in practicality.

Information material on preventing the virus can be found on the Health Board website.

  •  Who decides on the need to close the educational institution?

Pursuant to § 28 of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, the Health Board shall decide on the risk arising from the epidemic spread of an infectious disease on the basis of the information available to it.

The local authority may, on a proposal from the Health Board, temporarily close schools and child and welfare facilities and also require, for example, necessary disinfection or pest control.

An educational institution may also be closed by its head or manager in coordination with the Health Board.

Pursuant to § 44 (3) of the PGS, means for the protection of the health of students and school staff are created by the school manager and are organized by the principal.Infomaterjal viiruste ennetamiseks


FOR THE STUDENT

  • I'm a student. How to prevent coronavirus infection and what to do in case of suspicion?

 

 

Wash hands frequently 

Wash hands with warm water and soap and in public places use alcohol-based hand disinfectant. Washing and disinfecting your hands will kill the virus that has gotten on your hands.

Avoid contact

Avoid contact (keeping a distance of at least 1 m) with people with external symptoms of illness, such as cough or sneezing. If you stand too close to the person with the symptoms, you may inhale the droplets from that person’s sneeze and fall ill yourself.

As the common cold is also currently spreading, it is not advisable to hug friends. 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

In public places, your hands are exposed to many objects and surfaces that may have recently been contaminated by viruses. If you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands, there is a possibility that the virus is transmitted to you. 

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical help early.

Tell your healthcare professional if you have recently visited the risk area, where COVID-19 has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has visited the risk area and has symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing). 

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and you have not recently visited the risk area

Follow carefully your usual hand hygiene practices and if possible, stay home until you are well. 

Follow respiratory hygiene

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and then clean your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (part of your forearm) and not your bare hand to cover your mouth.

Covering the mouth and nose prevents germs and viruses from spreading. If you sneeze into your bare hand, then germs and viruses can spread through you to other people and objects you touch.

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