The Pärnu city government and heads of schools have decided all municipal schools, local government hobby schools and youth centers in the city of Pärnu and its rural municipality districts will switch to distance learning until November 14 following the October school break. This includes students with special educational needs, elementary school and high school classes.
The epidemiological situation in Pärnu is being monitored in cooperation with the Health Board's western regional branch, with the next meeting of heads of schools, the city government and the board's experts set to take place on November 8 to decide whether special needs students and the first stage of study could be allowed to return to contact learning.
Private hobby schools, the state high school and private general education schools will get to decide whether to switch to remote learning. The city government strongly recommends it and has suggested the virus does not care who runs the school.
"The decision follows growing spread of the coronavirus. We have a very high infection rate compared to other counties, with the number of people who require hospitalization rising. Kadri Juhkam, head of Health Board West, has also recommended putting schools on remote learning after the school break to avoid new outbreaks and mass infection as she believes it can considerably bring down the infection rate among students and teachers. Unfortunately, not everyone who carries the virus tests positive," Pärnu Deputy Mayor Varje Tipp said.
The city government asks employers to allow people to work from home if at all possible.
The 14-day infection rate per 100,000 people has grown to 2,152 in Pärnu County for one of the highest rates in the country. Infection is up 7.4 times since September 1, with schools believed to have contributed to the spread.
The Health Board has registered 579 students infected with the coronavirus in the local government of Pärnu since September 1 of whom 235 (40.6 percent) have caught the virus in school.
Editor: Marcus Turovski