COVID-19 FAQs: Wednesday 10th February 2021 | SISD

Yes! You MUST complete the travel declaration process outlined at the link below.

 LINK TO TRAVEL GUIDELINES

Thank you for your understanding and commitment in these challenging times and for facing any difficulties in the spirit of togetherness.

No, it’s not. According to the most recent update from Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, gatherings are limited to 10 people – but attendees may only be first-degree relatives. That means parents, siblings and children but NOT friends or cousins.

It’s important to remember the difference between close contacts and confirmed cases. As an example, for one confirmed case there can sometimes be up to 30 close contacts who must quarantine. Moreover, most close contacts do not become confirmed cases.

 

There are a number of different triggers that would demand the switching of students, a class, a corridor, a building or even the whole school to distance learning. In some cases, the school has implemented this switch but the approach is a targeted one. The procedure is clear and objective for each of these levels, but it is also complex and subject to change. It is shared for the information of school clinic teams only and is therefore not for further distribution.

 

Thanks to the hard work of the whole community in respecting the various measures, we have not reached a level where we are required to shift the whole school into Distance Learning, and the latest numbers are down from a small peak after the winter break.

 

Parent feedback indicates clearly that a majority of parents are keen for the school to maintain face-to-face learning under the strict health and safety protocols. We appreciate that this is not true for all parents and we continue to provided either mandated (through quarantine/isolation) but also elective distance learning to the highest standard possible under the demanding circumstances. The Early Years and Primary teams have also recently undertaken review of such case-by-case Distance Learning provision in order to introduce upgrades for Semester 2.

We have considered this but determined that it would not be in the spirit of what has been instructed by KHDA regarding communication. When numbers are decreasing (as we have seen recently), this may reassure the community, but the inverse may also be true and therefore unhelpful.

The health authorities (in our case Dubai Healthcare City and Dubai Health Authority) have published detailed guidance for the clinic team and which underpin SISD protocols. The school complies fully with this guidance. Moreover the Health and Safety Team (including clinic, operations and academic leaders) meets frequently and communicates 24/7 to ensure correct interpretation and application of these guidelines. Decisions may be informed by feedback from the people concerned (e.g. to determine time/distance of proximity) but are taken objectively.

A contact of a close contact; (i.e.- a secondary contact) is anyone who has been in contact with a close contact (primary contact). Following the guidelines of the health authorities, secondary contacts are not required to quarantine unless the close/primary contact tests positive. They can come to school normally, provided they are not in contact with the primary contact, they are absolutely symptom-free, and their parents monitor their symptoms daily. Secondary contacts would have to stay home if the close contact or someone in their house is undergoing a PCR test, and if subsequently the close contact has tested positive. They then become a close contact of the newly confirmed positive COVID-19 case and the 10 days of quarantine would apply.

Again, please keep in mind the difference between close contacts and confirmed cases. We would be grateful if speculation could be avoided and medical confidentiality were to be respected. Please also keep in mind that not all absences are COVID-19 related. Rest assured that we are doing our best to support colleagues who are out and you should be aware that we have effective cover systems in place to ensure continuity of learning. Our senior leaders and clinic team also monitor the wellbeing of staff closely and follow up to ensure all colleagues get the care they need.

It is absolutely right that students and staff must stay home if anybody in their household is awaiting the results of a PCR test. Sometimes, PCR tests have been taken in the absence of symptoms (e.g. for screening prior to travel abroad or medical procedures) and parents have not kept their children home when technically they should have done so.

 

Where the school determines that parents have willfully ignored guidance, we have issued formal written reprimands and, depending on the gravity of the situation, informed the relevant authorities. We would like to reassure you that such incidents are infrequent.

There are two cleaning and disinfection teams operating 24hrs a day, and using only Dubai Municipality-approved products.

The day shift do not enter classes when students are present, but they follow a clear protocol:

  • Clean and disinfect all the public and admin areas, toilets and touch points every hour.
  • Disinfect the holding room for emergency use by the students at the time of incident in their own classroom.
  • Standby for any emergency disinfection requirements. In such cases, the classroom is first evacuated for the disinfection team to proceed.

 

The night shift then ensure the following are addressed:

  • Deep clean all the classrooms by scrubbing the floor with machine and wash the toilets.
  • Disinfect all the touch points in the entire campus.
  • Weekly fog spray the entire campus including the classrooms and play areas.

When confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified in school, the disinfection procedure ensures the cleaning of all surfaces and touch points. The entire room is fogged and the cleaning team leaves immediately. Teachers are the first people to enter classrooms in the morning.

Yes. The school has undertaken a number of initiatives to facilitate vaccinations for staff, which are encouraged but not mandatory. We are fortunate that we are close to the dedicated educator vaccination centre in Dubai HealthCare City. In addition this, SISD has worked with KHDA and DHA to coordinate Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations for those staff who have expressed this preference.