Schools in Dubai now have new guidance as to what to do in the event of student or staff member testing positive for Covid-19. The ‘Seven Steps’ applies to all schools in Dubai. Other emirates have their own guidance from local authorities.
The guidance indicates that the Dubai Health Authority and KHDA will evaluate each instance of Covid-19 infection in a school on a case by case basis.
The original guidance from the Ministry of Education indicated that a school would automatically be closed if there were more than two confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The ‘Seven Steps’ are as follows:
1. Everyone stays calm
2. School leaders call Dubai Health Authority and KHDA
3. DHA and the school carry out contact tracing to identify close contacts
4. The school notifies parents of all close contacts
5. All close contacts quarantine for 14 days, with access to distance learning
6. The school is thoroughly cleaned and sanitised using a government-approved company
7. Dubai Government authorities investigate and recommend whether classes should temporarily switch to distance learning
Our understanding is that ‘close contact’ is someone who has been within 2m of the infected person for more than 15 minutes. How this will impact individual students will depend on age, with younger students more likely to have come in close contact with each other (and teachers) than older students, who are better able to socially distance.
All Dubai schools are required to have distance learning ready for students who need to isolate or who test positive for Covid-19.