The approval for final decision with regards to closure of a school due to a COVID related issue, should be obtained from Director General of Health Services.
The directive has been issued by the Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena himself through a special circular issued to relevant officials including all Provincial, Regional Directors of Health Services, Medical Officers of Health and School Medical Officers.
According to the circular, a decision to close a school should be taken only after risk assessment by local health and school teams after consultation with relevant National level Health authorities.
However, the Health DG has categorically stated that his concurrence should be obtained for the final decision.
Apart from general guidelines, if children or the staff members become close contacts of a COVID patient away from the school, they have to be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days, if the exposed person is vaccinated (21 days, if not vaccinated).
At the end of quarantine spell, exit PCR/RAT should be arranged according to current recommendations (only for individuals returning after 14 days- which will be arranged at the resident MOH area).
In addition, the circular underlines that if a quarantined child is required to sit for an essential exam, alternate arrangement should be made for the purpose. (Sheain Fernandopulle)