2 schools remain closed; Harvest to re-open

One of the COVID-positive employees was from Agueda Johnston Middle School (file photo)

The Guam Department of Education (GDOE), in consultation with the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), has announced that Ordot-Chalan Pago Elementary School (OCPES) and Agueda Johnston Middle School (AIJMS) will remain closed on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez is canceling classes at both campuses in order to complete ongoing mitigation efforts, to include clearing debris near ponding basins and vegetation overgrowth.

Additionally, DPHSS will continue gathering mosquito traps for the two GDOE schools to test for the presence of the dengue virus. Classes are expected to resume for both schools on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Harvest Christian Academy (HCA) will resume classes on Tuesday, Sept. 24. HCA was sprayed with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved insecticides over the weekend following a confirmed case of the dengue virus.

Several government agencies such as the Department of Public Health and Social Services and the Guam Department of Education have teamed up to make sure that the community is well informed about how to keep themselves safe and prevent the spread of dengue fever.

Classes were canceled today at three schools – Agueda Johnston Middle School, Ordot Chalan Pago Elementary School, and Harvest Christian Academy – as a precaution against dengue fever.

According to a release from the Joint Information Center, the decision was made after a locally acquired case was identified at Agueda Johnston on Sept. 11th and at both the other schools on Sept. 21.

Regarding the instances at Agueda Johnston and Harvest, both the infected individuals were students.

While the schools were closed, Public Health sprayed insecticide at the Harvest campus and assessed the effectiveness of the spraying that took last week at the public schools.

In the wake of these cases, GDOE has loosened its uniform policy to allow students to wear long-sleeve clothing to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

The department will also be holding an informational briefing about dengue fever at the GDOE Headquarters in Tiyan this evening at 6 p.m. There, parents and employees can raise their concerns and questions to a panel of subject matter experts ranging from DPHSS officials to an epidemiologist from the U-S Centers for Disease Control.

For those unable to attend the briefing, the panel will be live-streamed on GDOE’s Facebook page if a steady internet connection is available.