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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Everything you need to know about Qatar’s school COVID protocols

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Online learning will take place until at least January 27. Here’s everything you need to know about school protocols after it’s over. 
With physical attendance slowly approaching, Qatar’s ministry of education, in collaboration with the ministry of health, has announced new protocols for those who come in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case in schools.
The new measures were sent to all schools and educational institutions to ensure the safety and well-being of the community during the hefty third wave that has been hitting the country in recent weeks.
Per recent regulations, students at schools and kindergartens will adopt online learning until at least 27 January 2022, but all staff are still required to attend in person.

So, what will the restrictions be once in-person schooling returns?

First, all students from grade one and above, staff, teachers, and visitors will be obligated to wear masks at all times and maintain a social distance of at least one meter between each other.
In addition, windows should remain open in classrooms and halls to ensure good ventilation is provided at all times, and sanitisation products should be placed across schools for people to use. Surfaces should be disinfected on a regular basis to ensure the safety of everyone attending.
Meanwhile, those who show symptoms of respiratory infection will not be allowed to enter the school or classroom and should get tested immediately.
A green Ehteraz is also mandatory to enter any educational institution.

What constitutes ‘direct contact’? 

Those who come in contact with a positive case within the same class or space, starting two days before the symptoms appear and up to 10 days after appearance, are considered to have had direct contact, the ministries explained.

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Unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff

Teachers, workers, and students who are eligible but have not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine will have to do a weekly Rapid Antigen Test in order to ensure they are virus-free.
Meanwhile, if unvaccinated students are identified to have had ‘direct contact’ with a positive case, they will be tested and placed under mandatory quarantine for seven days. The test will be taken in accordance with the recommendations of the tracking and tracing team of the Ministry of Health within one to two days.

Another swab will then be taken on the sixth day; if negative, the student can resume physical attendance as normal.

Meanwhile, all unvaccinated teachers and employees who identify as having ‘direct contact’ with a positive case will have to get tested within two days of making contact and isolate for 14 days.

Vaccinated or previously infected students, teachers, and staff

All vaccinated students, teachers, staff, or those who have been previously infected that come into ‘direct contact’ with an infected person, will also need to get tested within two days of exposure but will not have to remain quarantined in the case they test negative.

If positive, the person has to quarantine in accordance with the ministries’ regulations.

Overly infected schools

Schools that have a high level of infection will have to consult the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, and appropriate action will be taken based on the risk of threat.

For those schools, classes could be suspended for a week if needed, the ministries added.


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