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Schools to fully open in second semester as long as cases stay below 1,000 Updated: 2021-06-21 16:47:05 KST

South Korea plans to have schools fully open for the second semester, which starts in August.

"Schools are about more than just learning. They're a place for students and teachers to communicate and share their feelings. Also, it's the first kind of community that our children take part in. We, the adults, have to give this back to our kids, because it's something only schools can provide."

In fact, under the new social distancing scheme starting July, schools are likely to remain fully open once classes start in August.
Schools will only have to limit capacity if we get to level three, which means that as long as South Korea has fewer than 1,000 daily cases, schools will remain open.
And even under level three, capacity will be reduced only for some grades.
Kids from kindergarten to grade 2 will not be affected, and neither will vocational high schools or schools with fewer than 300 students.
So far, the numbers do show that schools are not as big of a risk as other settings.
Most infections among teens and children are from their families, not the classroom.
From March to May, South Korea's daily cases per 100,000 people was 1.zero-6, but in school settings, it was zero.7-6.
That's a 30 percent lower transmission rate.

"We are aware that parents are worried about schools being fully open. Please know that we have gained experience from a year and half of COVID-19 prevention at schools."

The Minister added Monday that schools will not close if an infection occurs.
Instead, only those who have come in contact with the infected person will be quarantined if officials deem it necessary.
The local authorities will also have the power to adjust school capacity depending on the situation in their communities.
Another goal for the Ministry is to keep the class sizes below 30.
To do this, it's considering setting up makeshift classrooms on school grounds.
But, for that, details will be announced next month.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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