x

Society

As COVID-19 Resurges, Greek Schools Prepare Reopening Anyway

ATHENS – Despite Greek teachers fearing it's not safe, schools will reopen Sept. 7 even as cases of COVID-19 are rising and the New Democracy government, scrambling to contain it, keeps issuing tighter restrictions not fully working.

A  committee of scientific experts advising the government is preparing guidelines for students, teachers and other staff in the schools, with the use of face masks mandatory although it hasn't been set what age is the minimum.

Also unsettled is what would happen during breaks in the corridors and outside at recesses and how safe social distances of 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) could be kept, especially around canteens where students get food.

Speaking to Open TV,  Dr. Nikos Sypsas, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Athens who sits on the specialist committee, said that, in case of an infection, authorities will close “specific sections” of the school and not the entire building.

There will also be a general disinfection and contact tracing to avoid a further spread, the regulations will require.

Earlier in August, the Health Ministry sent health instructions to try to maintain some sense of hygiene in schools, including keeping a distance, how to handle school equipment, keeping desks and chairs apart and directing traffic to avoid congregating, said Kathimerini.

Students will be instructed not to exchange stationary or pass notes to each other and will have to use keyboard covers on computers and seats will be disinfected after each use, every time it’s going to be used by another pupil.

There will also be psychological help available for those who find it difficult to cope with the stress and fear even as the virus is winding down in the country after an early lockdown held down the number of cases and fatalities.

High schools opened May 6 for teachers to begin preparations for the return of students, with seniors trying to get ready for university entrance exams.

The openings are drawing some criticism, including from teachers, and with mayors on some islands fearful it could spread the virus again. The secondary school teachers’ union (OLME) stopped work for three hours on May 6 in protest, but to no avail.

In comments to SKAI TV then, OLME President Theodoros Tsouchlos said it wasn’t safe for students and teachers in groups of up to 40 in the same room to be there and said teachers weren’t given adequate safety instructions.

RELATED

MYKONOS - For at least the third time this summer – even after being fined 30,000 euros ($30,682) a Mykonos restaurant with a reputation for ripping off tourists, did it again, charging an American couple $557 for 12 oysters and four drinks.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Greek-American Cornell Student Rescues Man on Subway Tracks in the Bronx

NEW YORK – Greek-American Cornell University senior Bryce Demopoulos rescued a man who had fallen on the subway tracks at the Third Avenue-138 Street station on the No.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.