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School Year Starts in Most Schools, but Several Affected by Coronavirus Infections

Fanni Kaszás 2020.09.01.

The new school year started today with regular classroom teaching, for the time being. According to the government, digital education is not yet seen as justified. Schools have to comply with a strict epidemiological protocol to prevent the risk of infection among students. However, some institutions could not even open, due to infections among students and teachers.

In Budapest, two schools, the László Nagy Hungarian-English Bilingual Primary School in Óbuda, and the XIII. district Berzsenyi Dániel High School are affected, while in the countryside the four-grade primary school of Győrújfalu could not start the school year as planned.

In the Óbuda primary school, three of the teachers tested positive for coronavirus. No official information has been provided by the institution yet, but ittlakunk.hu wrote on the basis of the parents’ reports that the director informed them about the developments in a letter. The principal wrote that they could not start this school year in the usual way, because there are three people infected with the coronavirus among the native English teachers.

The English teachers, all asymptomatic, have been in contact with 30 people, who will be tested this week. In her letter yesterday the headmistress noted that the local teaching arrangement is still being negotiated, but it is already certain that they will be open to all children after ozone disinfection. However, they “respect the right of parents to decide whether to keep their child away from the school.”

One of the other institutions concerned is the Berzsenyi Dániel High School, where several people were infected in the freshman camp. According to the principal, “the camp was well separated from the school in terms of place and time, and only affected a certain number of students at the school. This does not affect the start of the school year in any way. The school acted in accordance with the instructions of the operative board.”

Children attending the four-grade primary school in Győrújfalu could not start the school year in person on September 1st, because the entire teaching staff of the school was put into quarantine after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19. The infected teacher came into contact with all of her colleagues for a few days as she attended the faculty meeting at the start of the school year. That is why the National Center for Public Health decided to quarantine all teachers. According to the information of Mayor Attila Nagy, teaching in the institution can start on September 7th at the earliest.

COVID-19 has appeared not only in schools but also in kindergartens. Three workers tested positive at the Óbuda Százszorszép Kindergarten. The kindergarten teachers are currently in official quarantine. The 70 children who have been visiting the member institutions of the kindergarten in the last two weeks may be affected.

The kindergarten is closed for an indefinite period of time, and for the safety of the workers, the children, and their families, state institutions have started looking for possible contacts according to the procedure issued by the national chief medical officer.

Those who are not affected by the epidemiological measure will receive care in any district kindergarten by prior arrangement, but if they do not wish to do so, they can do so without a medical certificate, the municipality writes.

featured photo: illustration (Tibor Illyés/MTI)

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