March 2, 2021

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They denounce that the increase in cases of covid-19 and lack of preparation make it impossible to attend classes

Given the spike in covid-19 infections in Puerto Rico, the Broad Front in Defense of Public Education (Fadep) agrees that classes cannot begin in person in August.

The organization submitted a study by municipalities, in which it evaluated the increase in infections, comparing June 28 and July 12, the most recent dates available from the Department of Health. He reported that cases have not increased in only three towns.

“The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) establishes as a requirement to reopen schools that the curve that illustrates the contagion be 'flattened' and the virus is kept under control for two consecutive weeks. In Puerto Rico, positive cases for covid-19 have increased in all municipalities, except three of them. This means a new 'spike' in infections that, together with the deficient protocols of the Department of Education, would make a high concentration of students and staff on campus a risk to life, ” the president stated in written statements. de Educamos, Migdalia Santiago.

The CDC is an agency of the federal Department of Health with the function of developing actions for the prevention and control of diseases in the United States and its territories.

"Los Contagion findings from June 28 to July 12 reflect a sustained growth in the cases of COVID, where the percentage (%) has increased in 50 municipalities from 40% to 1,100%, with Camuy being the municipality with the greatest speed and percentage of infections in this period of time "assured the president of the Federation of Teachers, Mercedes Martínez Padilla.

Among the other findings obtained by Fadep is that e he past June 23 there were 1,568 confirmed cases in municipalities that Salud was able to identify; while, on July 12, the figure rose to 2,686, reflecting an increase of 1,118 cases in 2 weeks, for 71% increase in cases due to contagion certified by molecular testing at the island level.

They also indicated that three municipalities were maintained with the same number of cases (Naguabo, Maunabo and Coamo), that the remaining 75 municipalities had an increase in coronavirus cases and that 50 municipalities had increases that exceeded 40% in cases of contagion.

They added that San Juan, Guaynabo, Carolina and Bayamón continue to be the municipalities with the highest number of identified cases, also with the highest number of population per town, two of them in rationing.

"As of today, the Department of Education does not It has established a regional protocol that takes into account the particularities of each campus. The one they published is a general one for all schools. They do not grant autonomy to the regions to work on protocols and the process of reopening by phase according to the reduction of infections by people "affirmed the spokeswoman of the Steering Committee of the Class Action Lawsuit for Mothers and People in Charge of Special Education, Carmen Warren .

"They have not appointed enough nurses, psychologists and teachers. They have not sent engineers to inspect schools affected by the earthquakes, establish mitigation plans, and bring them to the earthquake resistance and current building codes. It does not take into account that there are several municipalities in drought and with rationing programs for the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA) service "added the president of Unete, Liza M. Fournier Córdova.

Meanwhile, the president of the EPA, Domingo Madera maintained that there are more than 80% of asymptomatic patients who are carriers and can spread. "The government carried out a reopening of the improvised economy that it can increase infections and, in the absence of educational and surveillance measures, it allows risky behaviors. ”

" They have not disinfected the schools, nor have they hired additional custodians. We cannot recommend reopening in this way, putting the lives of thousands of human beings at risk. For there to be reopening, there must be control of the pandemic, and a strict protocol must be implemented to protect our students, teachers, and other school personnel "stated Karen de León vice president of the SPT.

To this he added that the custodians have already started work and have identified as a common denominator the lack of disinfection, cleaning, hygiene and protective equipment.

The first thing that has to To occur, before talking about face-to-face classes, is to find a way to flatten the curve, a situation that they do not see likely between now and the first week of August.

Among the necessary measures to start the semester, after that plan is flattened curve, the Frente Amplió mentioned: molecular testing of all components of the school community, tracking of positive cases, reduction of students per classroom, hiring of more educators and staff of support, the opening of schools that were closed and the establishment of health and safety committees by campus that certify compliance with the protocol established through the self-certification document of the Department of Labor and others.

Also, the governor was asked to sign Senate Bill 1583, which reduces the number of students per classroom and allows schools to reopen.

Furthermore, since education is a constitutional right that it has That being guaranteed to all, they said that it is necessary to use virtual education, provide all the necessary technological equipment to teaching staff and students, and that free access to the Internet be provided as a human right.

“A through Prepanet can be achieved. Staff, students and parents must be trained in the use and programs of the equipment before starting any semester, and distance education must be complemented with daily educational programming through WIPR, as suggested by FADEP and the labor movement. RC of C 646. The DE accepted this claim and is currently offering a virtual educational camp. That precisely includes the content of our resolution, which can be extended to the next school semester to expand academic alternatives for our students and ensure that we do not leave any child behind, "reads the press release.

The Fadep said it has sent" numerous "letters requesting to meet with the governor and the Secretary of Education, Eligio Hernández, to present the proposals that they have prepared for the benefit of the public education system.

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