At least 65 teachers have been confirmed as having COVID-19, eight days after Albanian schools opened.
The actual number of cases is expected to be far higher as many teachers who have been tested have not had their results yet. Others are waiting to be tested.
At the time of writing, these cases are confirmed:
- 5 teachers in Bulqiza ,
- 8 teachers in Berat ,
- 4 teachers in Poliçan,
- 12 teachers infected in Erseka,
- 9 infected teachers, educators and sanitary workers in Saranda,
- 3 teachers and educators infected in Delvina,
- 2 teachers in Vlora ,
- At least 10 teachers infected at the ‘Jeronim De Rada’ school in Tirana,
- At least 5 infected students in the school ‘Petro Nini Luarasi’ in Tirana,
- At least 3 teachers infected in the ‘Ismail Qemali’ school in Tirana,
- 1 teacher in Gjirokastra,
- 1 teacher in the school 17 February in Tirana,
- 2 teachers at the institute for deaf children in Tirana.
The Ministry of Education has not made any statements on the situation of infection in schools.
Prior to the start of the school year, the Ministry published guidelines for teaching in schools but it had a number of shortcomings and did not guarantee compliance with measures such as social distancing and personal hygiene.
Furthermore, at least 30% of Albanian schools do not have running water so are unable to implement adequate personal hygiene protocols.
Other countries have noted spikes in cases since children went back to school and approaches to managing it has varied. Some US states have reverted to online learning while some countries such as North Macedonia are waiting for the authorities to take a decision.