Plastic shields in place, Dutch schools to reopen amid coronavirus

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DEN BOSCH, Netherlands (Reuters) – At the Springplank school in the Dutch city of Den Bosch, staff have installed plastic shields around students’ desks and disinfectant gel dispensers at the doorways as part of preparations to reopen amid the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

New infections in the Netherlands have been declining for weeks, and the government on Wednesday announced a schedule to relax some of its lockdown measures, with elementary schools to reopen on May 11.

“Our teachers are not worried,” said Rascha van der Sluijs, the school’s technical coordinator.

“We have flexible screens that we bought so we can protect our teachers if students are coughing.”

Though schools have been closed since March 14, many including the Springplank have remained open with skeleton staff for a handful of students whose parents work in essential sectors such as healthcare. Most have been taking classes online.

Each district is setting its own policies for reopening, with many planning to accept students only on alternate days. At some schools, the teachers will wear medical masks. – READ MORE

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