Morning assembly and school canteen to remain suspended.
Riyadh — The Public Health Authority (Weqaya) announced that 11 categories of students suffering particular diseases and disorders are exempted from attending in-person classes of elementary schools and kindergartens scheduled to resume from Sunday, Jan. 23. The announcement came as part of the directives issued by Weqaya for the return to school of students under 12.
According to the Weqaya guidelines, school canteens and morning assemblies would remain suspended. Instead, boy and girl students shall proceed to their classes directly. Furthermore, all class activities that fail to meet the physical distancing measures will be canceled.
All sports events and activities shall take place in spacious and well-ventilated places, taking into account the distance without sharing any sports tools and equipment. Furthermore, social distancing should occur while performing prayer at prayer areas and for ablution.
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Only those who wear masks will be allowed access, and entry and exit will require physical distancing of 1.5 meters between students. Classrooms should be well ventilated, with open windows, benefiting from natural ventilation and air-conditioning.
The Weqaya guidelines allows teachers to use a medical face shield inside the classroom to clear their pronunciation of letters. However, teachers have to clean and sterilize the face shield appropriately when taking it off.
Students attending classes have to wear a mask outside the classroom. Sharing meals and group meals in teachers’ rooms and relaxation rooms will not be allowed. Use of water coolers is not permitted.
According to the Weqaya guidelines, there should be a minimum of 60 cm spacing between tables of students. In addition, there should be different intervals for students and timings of their departure from school to avoid mixing and crowding.
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The Weqaya guidelines stipulates a designated separate square for each class gathering. In addition, distribution of meals and eating in classrooms will be allowed.
The guide has identified 11 categories of students exempted from attending in-person classes on health grounds. These categories include students who have type 1 diabetes, obesity, and underweight; congenital cardiovascular diseases (septal abnormalities, aortic stenosis, pulmonary valve stenosis, transposition of the great arteries, and impaired heart development).
The category includes students with chronic lung disease (chronic asthma, cystic fibrosis, and ciliary dyskinesia). Exempted category further comprises:
- Students with chronic kidney disease.
- Neuromuscular dystrophies.
- Anemia (thalassemia and sickle cell anemia).
- Immune-related diseases (acquired immunodeficiency, organ transplants, immunosuppressive therapies, and cancer treatment).
- Genetic diseases (Down’s syndrome).