Health Board: More than 200 teachers, students isolating in Tallinn ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Tallinn European School's new facilities on Tehnika Street in Tallinn.
Tallinn European School's new facilities on Tehnika Street in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

More than 200 teachers and pupils have been advised to quarantine after several people tested positive for coronavirus in four schools and three kindergartens in Tallinn, the Health Board (Terviseamet) said on Wednesday.

Cases of coronavirus have been detected in two city schools and two private schools in Tallinn, head of the Northern Region of the Health Board Ester Öpik said at a press conference. In total, 215 people are self isolating.

"Although this is not a large number in the context of Tallinn's population, it is still a significant number," she said. 

At the Läänemere High School (Läänemere gümnaasium) in Lasnamäe, a fifth-grade student and teacher have tested positive for COVID-19 and 22 close contacts have been advised to move to distance learning.

At the Kesklinn Russian High School (Tallinna Kesklinna Vene Gümnaasium), a sick sixth-grade child was present on a school trip with teachers and pupils from three classes and now up to 90 people have been advised to move to distance learning or self isolation.

Tallinn European School (Tallinna Euroopa kool) and Rocca al Mare School (Rocca al Mare kool) have also had staff or students test positive for coronavirus. There are also cases in Lepistiku, Männi and Sinilille kindergartens.

On Monday, schools in Tallinn were told to start distancing learning from eighth grade and above.

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said on Wednesday that 90 percent of Tallinn schools have implemented partial distance learning.

"In some schools, it is possible to disperse students even without distance learning - there are two school buildings or a small number of students," said Kõlvart. He added 11 schools have also asked younger students to start distance learning.

What is the coronavirus situation in Harju County and Tallinn?

On Wednesday, the 14-day average infection rate per 100,000 passed 25 in Estonia. As most of the cases are clustered in Harju County the rate is almost 30. It is over 30 in Tallinn, Öpik said.

There are known to be more than 1,000 close contacts in the northern region and 200 people are being monitored. There are six known active outbreaks:

  • Nõmme Kalju soccer club
  • The "Viimsepäeva katedraal" exhibition's club event
  • The Gourmet Coffee party
  • The so-called music
  • Eight people are sick after a workplace outbreak,
  • Männi kindergarten

As the infection rate in the capital is still growing, Tallinn has canceled both the Wandering Lights Festival (Valgus Kõnnib) and the car-free day events planned for the weekend. 

Kõlvart said more than 20,000 people were expected to attend the Wandering Lights Festival and the city would not be able to ensure people's safety.

There are estimated to be 182 active cases in Harju County with the majority in Tallinn. In total, since February, 1,093 cases have been diagnosed in the county.

Of the 36 new cases announced on Wednesday by the Health Board, 10 were recorded in Tallinn. The agency has previously expressed concern about the growing infection rate in Tallinn and said the virus is being spread by, and among, young people.

View more data at Koroonakaart.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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