Troisdorf The Rhein-Sieg district confirmed three cases of coronavirus on Sunday at the Georg-Kerschensteiner-Berufskolleg in Troisdorf. Pupils and teachers who may have had contact with those affected are being quarantined.
The new school year was only three days old when a number of students at the Georg-Kerschensteiner-Berufskolleg in Troisdorf received the news that they would have to stay at home again for two weeks. As the Rhein-Sieg district confirmed on Sunday on request, three students within its catchment tested positive for coronavirus. Because they had been in close contact with numerous other students and teachers, further infections could not be ruled out. For this reason, the District Health Office classified all those who regularly spent time in the section containing the classrooms of those affected as close contact persons and they must now be quarantine for 14 days. Altogether, the pupils and teachers of 15 classes are affected.
The first coronavirus cases have also been reported at schools and day-care centres in Bonn, where one teacher as well as one nursery-school teacher have tested positive.
Large number of contact persons
The colleagues of the three students who tested positive for coronavirus at the Georg-Kerschensteiner-Berufskolleg were informed by the district health office by telephone, the district said. However, because the number of those who had direct contact with the students in question was so large, it was not possible to call them all. For this reason, the school board of the Rhein-Sieg district sent a so-called Covid-19 quarantine advance information to all affected students and their parents on Friday, informing about the three coronavirus cases at its vocational school and the consequences for all those who had had contact with them. "Because of shared classrooms, infections of other contact persons is possible," wrote the head of the school office, Hans Clasen, in the letter that the GA has seen.
For this reason, the Health Department sees no other alternative than to classify all pupils and teachers who regularly spent time in the parts of the building where the classrooms of the pupils who tested positive are located, as so-called close contact persons at high risk. This means that they may pose a risk of transmission to others in their own environment. Therefore, the public health department is obliged to order the necessary protective measures to interrupt the chains of infection. The affected pupils and people who are immediate domestic contact with them have to remain at home in quarantine for 14 days with immediate effect. They are not allowed to leave their homes or to receive visitors. An order to this effect will be sent out in the next few days by the responsible authorities.
The vocational college has a large catchment area
On Sunday, the district did not want to say from which municipal authorities the affected people come. "Pupils from the entire Rhein-Sieg district and Bonn visit our school", said district spokeswoman Rita Lorenz. She was also unable to say anything on Sunday about the number of pupils and teachers now in "domestic isolation".
The Georg-Kerschensteiner-Berufskolleg of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis in Troisdorf is one of four vocational colleges in the trusteeship of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. According to the district, about 2,700 students from the entire district and beyond currently attend the college. Its courses on offer include not only industrial and metalworking trades, but also social and health care, and different school-leaving certificates can also be obtained.
(Original text, Nadine Quadt; translation, John Chandler)