Coronavirus (COVID 19) Updates

Current Status

School is closed from 18th March until the Ministry of Education allows the reopening. 

IB Exams for the May 2020 session have been cancelled. Please see the letter to parents from the IB here.

  • Edexcel GCSEs in PE, Art and Japanese will not be examined; students will still receive a grade.
  • Edexcel IGCSE Science is currently still available to be sat.
  • CIE IGCSEs are currently all still available.

As the situation is fluid and evolving, I will update the community on updates from CIE as soon as possible.

Please email communications@patana.ac.th if you fulfill any of the quarantine requirements below or are diagnosed with COVID-19, as the school is mandated to report this.

Your children are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine:

  • If they have travelled from / transited through or come into close contact with anyone who has travelled from /transited through the high risk countries listed below
  • If they have a sibling attending a school that has been closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case amongst the staff or students at the school

We also ask children to stay away from school if they have come into close contact with a PUI (Person Under Investigation) as defined in the FAQs below. 

The MOPH (Ministry of Public Health) has three levels of monitoring places:

  • The first – new and highest – level is ‘Territories outside the Kingdom of Thailand defined as Disease Infected Zones of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak’ announced in the Royal Gazette on 5th These include Mainland China, Macao, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy and Iran which are considered to be dangerous for the spread of the virus. From 6th March 2020, people who have travelled from / transited through these places have to mandatorily self-quarantine and report electronically every day to the MOPH for 14 days. If they develop any symptoms, they have to go into government organised quarantine. More information is available on this link, but please understand that it may not always be fully up to date due to the fluidity of the current situation: https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php
  • The second level is a list of places that are at risk and are subject to a travel advisory. These places come under new directives from the government which you can read here. These places are:

From 22nd March: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Malaysia, Canada, Portugal, Brazil, Czech Republic, Israel, Ireland, Pakistan, Finland, Turkey, Greece, Chile, Luxembourg, Poland and Ecuador 

From 13th March: Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the UK

From 6th March: the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the US

From 2nd March: Germany and France

From 26th February: Iran and Italy

From 21st February: Mainland China, Macao, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.

For this level, the OPEC (Office of Private Education Commission) announcement dated 2nd March 2020 required that if you or a member of your family has travelled from / transited through or been in close contact with someone who has travelled from / transited through these places, you are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine. Please contact the Primary or Secondary Office if your child(ren) need to be quarantined.

  • The MOPH announced a watch list of places which are currently under consideration for being placed on the second level of risk. Countries on the watch list are being monitored on the increase in the number of cases each day. For countries where cases are increasing daily, people are requested to avoid travel where possible.
  • Temperature scans are in effect for all people entering school. Adults with temperatures of 37.5C degrees and above will not be allowed into school. Children with temperatures of 37.5C and above will be taken to the Nurse’s station and their parents will be called to arrange for the child to return home.
  • If your children are engaged in activities outside school, such as extra lessons or sporting activities, where they come into regular, close contact with others, please do request these third parties to confirm they have not been travelling or transiting through our high-risk countries, nor have been in close contact with anyone who has, within the previous 14 days.  The Ministry of Education and OPEC are understandably being very strict, and we do face a full school closure if any of our students or staff have been exposed and come to school, even if through a third party.
  • 2nd March – Malaysia and Vietnam have been removed from the list of high risk countries. Children who have been in quarantine can return to school.
  • Sanitising and screening procedures are in place, the staff have taken extra steps to scrub areas of the school during the half term break.
  • Hand sanitisers are in place around the school. Regular and thorough hand washing with soap is recommended for students.
  • All overnight school trips in Term 2 that involve any interactions with students from other schools have been cancelled.
  • All inter-school activities and those involving people outside the regular school community have been curtailed following OPEC guidelines from 6th March.
  • Fun Day on Saturday 7th March has been postponed to Saturday 6th June.
  • ECAs will continue as scheduled. All ECA providers have been asked to provide a travel and health declaration.
  • Our Admissions Department is checking with prospective parents to ascertain if they have been in a high risk area or been in contact with others who have travelled to a high risk area. They will follow the same quarantine directives as the rest of our community. 
  • For the Songkran holiday and the long weekend in May, we suggest you avoid travelling to or coming into contact with people who have travelled to high-risk countries, as this may put your child(ren) into a quarantine and prevent them from returning to school. Note that the Thai Government may include more countries on the quarantine list by this time.
  • If you plan to travel internationally for the summer holidays, we suggest flexible return tickets so that, if needed, your child(ren) can fulfill a quarantine and start school on time.

Here is the most recent letter to parents.

If you are unsure, please keep your child at home and contact the school during school hours:
Primary Office: 02 785 2260
Secondary Office: 02 785 2310

What does 'self-quarantine' mean?

Self-quarantine means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation and not leaving for the period of time for which you are required to isolate. Do not allow visitors into the home, hotel room or provided accommodation.

If someone in your home is self-quarantined, they should maintain separation in an area of the home away from others (with their own bathroom and closed-door space). If the quarantined person is moving freely around the home, the other members of the household must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This is because the other members of the household are classified to be in close contact with someone who is in the incubation period and may develop the infection.

What is a PUI and how is it defined?

Patients Under Investigation (PUI) are determined based on symptoms  / symptoms together with risk factors:

  1. A recent arrival through an international checkpoint AND with the following symptoms
    • Body temperature of 37.5C or more together with symptoms of the respiratory system
    • OR any of – fever, runny nose, sore throat, laboured or difficult breathing.
  2. A person who has been to hospital with:
    • Body temperature of 37.5C or higher or a history of fever together with one of the following respiratory symptoms: cough, runny nose, sore throat, laboured breathing or difficulty breathing
    • Or pneumonia
      AND fulfills one or more of the criteria below
    • Has in the previous 14 days arrived from one of the countries on the school’s list of high-risk places,
    • Has a job which brings them into close contact with foreign tourists
    • Has a close history with someone confirmed with COVID-19
    • Works in medical or public health and in contact with patients being investigated for COVID-19.
  3. Someone who has been to a hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia AND in the 14 days before the onset of the illness fulfilled one or more of the criteria below:
    • Been in close contact to a suspected COVID-19 case
    • Is medical or health personnel
    • Symptomatic treatement does not improve
    • The cause of the symptoms cannot be found
    • Severe symptoms or death which cannot be determined.
  4. Chronic Illness – clusters of people with acute respiratory tract infections who have been checked for influenza or other viruses and come back negative but are from:

    • Three or more medical personnel in the same department with symptoms within the same week
    • A cluster of five or more people who are not medical personnel and have respiratory tract symptoms within the same week in the same location.
How To Avoid Close Contact With A Person in A High Risk Category

You can avoid coming into close contact with someone who is in a high-risk category by:

  • Keeping 2 metres away from others (about 3 steps)
  • Sleeping in separate bedroom and use separate bathroom (keep the door closed)
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces in areas that you use in common
  • Not using shared spaces at the same time as a person in a high-risk category and ensuring they are cleaned before you use them
  • Ensuring that the person in the high-risk category wears a mask when moving through shared spaces.
  • Using separate tables and any utensils
  • Not sharing personal belongings, such as handerkerchiefs, drinking glasses and straws
  • Cleaning clothes, bedsheets, towels with soap or regular detergent and water. Or wash them in hot water at 60-90 degrees celsius
Where can I find out more about Continuing Learning during school closure?

If you have any queries about our Continuing Learning strategy in case of school closure, please contact your child’s class teacher / tutor or subject specialist. The school already has in place continuing learning for students who have been quarantined.

To facilitate continuing learning, your child should have access to a good internet connection and an area where they can connect to their teachers without distraction. All learning resources are located on our virtual learning environment (Firefly) and cloud services (Google Drive, Office 365).

Our Continuing Learning strategy follows these guidelines:

  • Keeping regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or helping to create new routines if relocated to a new environment. These routines should include learning along with playing and relaxation time.
  • Live group chats and regular check-ins to help support learning. To provide a platform for students to support each other and to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.
  • Be cognisant of the cumulative affect of screen time when a student is set multiple learning tasks. Having a blended approach, balancing digital with off line (analogue) actvities.

If our school is closed, Continuing Learning is tailored to Year groups and classes.

In the Primary School, age-appropriate learning activities are placed in a centralised area within Firefly. Class teachers will contact parents via email and direct them to these resources on a regular basis.

In the Secondary School, subject teachers will post all learning activities on Firefly as a task, so that parents can access them and support your child(ren)’s learning. Feedback on these activities will be given on a regular basis on Firefly. Teachers will arrange slots of time during working hours when they will be available for live support.

Read the full article in the 13th March edition of Patana News.

What If Someone in My Building is Diagnosed with COVID-19?

If someone in your building has been confirmed with having COVID-19:

If you/your children have had no close contact with the person or a member of their household, all you need to do is ensure you avoid close contact with other people in the building and you/your children can still attend school.

If you/your children have had close contact with the person or a member of their household, then you are subject to the school guidelines on self-quarantine.

In either case, call the Primary or Secondary School Office and please keep the school appraised of developments.

What is Social Distancing?

AVOID

  • Group gatherings
  • Sleepovers
  • Large group playdates
  • Concerts
  • Theatre outings
  • Athletic events
  • Crowded retail areas
  • Crowded gyms
  • Non-essential workers in your house
  • Crowded mass transport without a mask

USE CAUTION

  • Visiting restaurants, grocery stores
  • Getting take away food
  • Collecting medication
  • Playing tennis in a park
  • Religious services
  • Travelling
Temperature Scans

Temperature checks are best done at home before you send your child(ren) to school because if they do have a fever, you can keep them at home. Taking your child(ren)’s temperature at home also enables you to monitor any changes daily.

A reminder to also monitor any staff you employ to accompany your children to school to make sure they are well.

We will scan all people entering school. Adults with temperatures of 37.5C or higher will not be allowed to enter campus, children with these temperatures will be taken to the Nurse’s station and their parents will be called to arrange for the child to return home.

Our teachers monitor the children in their classes. If there are any signs that a child is unwell, the child is sent to the school nurse immediately. Between 24th February and 12th March we had 240 visits to our school nurses and only one case was diagnosed with a fever.

NOTE: The Sports Hall gate will be closed for entry all day, but exit through this gate is allowed. Between 8.30am and 2.00pm you can only use the main entry to school (near Reception).

Does being in transit in one of the locations above count?

If you or someone you know was only in transit through the places mentioned above, the 14-day quarantine is applicable.

Can I request that my child not participate in certain classes and activities?

All children attend classes as normal and are expected to take part in all scheduled school activities. This includes break time, PE, Swimming, and specialist classes.

Is it mandatory to wear masks?

Bangkok Patana does not require masks and the WHO and CDC have both announced that they should be worn if you are sneezing and coughing. Check their guidelines here. However, if you prefer your child to wear a mask they may do so but please be sure and follow all healthy hygiene habits regularly as well.

Why is the School not checking passports daily?

The spread of COVID-19 occurs not only from people who have travelled to high risk destinations, but also when others have come into contact with these people. In addition, many places such as Hong Kong don’t stamp passports so we don’t get an accurate travel picture.

We trust that you, our parents, will be vigilant and honest because you too are concerned about the spread of coronavirus.

How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?
  • Study the facts of the virus before speaking to your child. We highly recommend you visit the WHO site and become fully informed.
  • Speak calmly and answer questions in a a reassuring manner.
  • Remind them to be vigilant about hand washing regularly, use hand gels, cover their mouth and nose with their arm when they sneeze or cough.
  • Discuss with them why they may see children wearing masks, gently correct any misinformation they may have.
  • Allow them to express their feelings  and remind them that all students treat each other with respect and to not jump to any conclusions on another child’s health.
Is it safe to use the swimming pool?

All our swimming pools are maintained to international standards and are chlorinated regularly. They are cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. The use of chlorine as a disinfectant is an internationally recognised practice to ensure that pools are safe to use.

Are the buses being disinfected?

All buses are being disinfected regularly and hand gel is provided for students on each bus.

How to Wash Your Hands Thoroughly - by our Year 12 Biology students