30 students, 5 staff test positive for coronavirus at Amsterdam school
Thirty students and five staff members at the Spinoza Lyceum in Amsterdam have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. Even after some parents knew that their child was infected, some parents reportedly still allowed them to attend school.
"Although I understand very well that it is not always convenient to keep the child at home, I would like to emphasize once again that you really should not do this," said the Jan Paul Beekman, the leader of the Amsterdam-Zuid school, said to local broadcaster AT5 on Friday.
A letter sent from the school board to parents noted that the students have had mild symptoms as a result of the viral infection. Beekman said that nearly all of the infections happened outside of the school, and that the virus spread during a party two weeks earlier when students were unable to maintain a safe physical distance from one another.
"That is why I strongly urge parents and students to also take corona measures seriously outside the classrooms," he said. Because the infections did not occur in school, the municipal health service was not planning on closing the school.
This could change if more students become infected. "Then we will scale down. The lower classes can go to school in the morning and the upper classes in the afternoon," Beekman said.
He also empathized with the students who have said they feel very guilty after becoming infected because of the impact it could have on other students in the classroom. However, he said he does not blame them, and does not went them to carry the gravity of the situation on their shoulders.
In recent months, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague have consistently been the three municipalities with the most new coronavirus infections. This week, Amsterdam was also among the cities with the highest per capita rate of infection.
About eight thousand people have been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Netherlands since Monday, nearly the same as for the months of June and July combined.