Dozens quarantined over coronavirus exposure after school reopening in Finland

Two days after school reopening, some classes in Porvoo and Sipoo, both in southern Finland, will shift to distance learning, as dozens of teachers and pupils have been exposed to the coronavirus, reported Finnish national broadcaster Yle on Sunday.

The City of Porvoo informed on Sunday that a student of Linnajoki School in Porvoo has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Seventeen pupils and four teachers have been exposed to the virus in the middle school, which has 550 pupils. All of those exposed have been in quarantine at home.

The school has been disinfected over the weekend, and unaffected classes will continue schooling Monday as usual, following the safety and hygiene guidelines previously issued, according to the city.

At Soderkulla school in Sipoo, a significant portion of staff have been put into quarantine after coming into contact with an infected individual, according to the city on Sunday.

As a result, remote learning will resume for fourth, fifth and sixth graders, while contact teaching for grades one to three will continue at the school.

In response to the news, Finnish Minister of Education Li Andersson commented on Twitter that in cases of infection, schools should take action immediately and locally under the Communicable Diseases Act and put in place special arrangements to ensure safety.

Most primary and lower secondary schools in Finland reopened on Thursday, after a nearly two-month closure to slow the spread of COVID-19. The government has instructed schools to take measures to keep pupils apart as much as possible, including staggered class breaks and lunch hours.