School Staff & Students With Acute Respiratory Infections Will Be Referred To Designated Clinics For Testing

As Singapore gradually reopens its economy and more people go to school and the office after the ‘Circuit Breaker’, our community cases may start climbing again.

Just last week, 4 students and 1 non-teaching staff from 5 different schools tested positive for Covid-19 infection, though evidence suggests that they were infected towards the end of the ‘Circuit Breaker’.

As Singapore continues extensively testing the population, 196 clinics will now be able to test for Covid-19, reported The Straits Times (ST).

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Students aged above 12 and school staff will be tested at these clinics, as part of the Ministry Of Education’s (MOE’s) efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 as schools reopen.

Students & staff with acute respiratory symptoms tested for free

Students and staff who have been diagnosed with acute respiratory symptoms will be referred to a clinic or polyclinic involved in the Swab and Send Home (SASH) initiative, or a Regional Screening Centre.

There are now a total of 196 clinics marked as part of SASH on FluGoWhere, a government website that lists out Public Health Preparedness Clinics that offer subsidised treatment for patients with respiratory symptoms.

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Testing will be free for those who have been referred.

However, staff and students who are getting tested must bring their staff or student pass.

Non-MOE staff who work in school or with students should have a letter of identification from their school, and an identification document with their NRIC or FIN number on it.

Some students must be accompanied by parent or guardian

For students aged from 13 to 16, a parent or guardian of  must accompany them to their test in order to sign consent forms. They will also need to be present to be briefed on necessary precautions to take.

As for students below 13, doctors will evaluate whether to send them old for testing, as different needs must be considered when it comes to younger children.

Not all students & teachers tested, unlike for pre-schools

MOE also explained why not all students and teachers will be tested, which unlike the reopening process for pre-schools, where all pre-school staff were tested before the resumption of pre-school operations.

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The difference is because pre-school students and teachers have closer physical interaction with one another than those at higher levels of education, ST quoted MOE as saying.

Pre-schoolers are also more vulnerable, and the risk of spread is higher, it added.

Staying safe as life resumes

The stepping up of testing efforts plays a big role in keeping Singapore safe as life progresses to the “new normal”.

School is an essential part of children’s lives, and it’s important that our students feel safe when they’re in school so they can focus on their schoolwork.

However, personal responsibility is also important, so don’t forget to observe good hygiene and keep a safe distance from one another.

Featured image adapted from Facebook