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West Japan school temporarily closed after teacher comes to work despite having COVID

Amagasaki Municipal Board of Education officials are seen at a press conference at city hall on Sept. 1, 2021. (Mainichi/Kiyomasa Nakamura)

AMAGASAKI, Hyogo -- An elementary school in this west Japan city has temporarily closed after a teacher came to work despite knowing they were infected with the coronavirus, the municipal board of education announced Sept. 1.

    According to the Amagasaki Municipal Board of Education, the teacher had a fever of 38.8 degrees Celsius on Aug. 25, and had a positive antigen test at a medical institution. They did not work over the following days, citing poor health and other reasons, but did come to work on the morning of Aug. 30, when they attended the opening ceremony for the new trimester and taught class.

    The infection came to light after a public health center contacted the education board that evening because it could not reach the teacher. The school notified students' parents and guardians by email the same night. The teacher reportedly explained that they decided to attend work because their health had improved. The education board has temporarily closed the school until Sept. 3.

    The teacher gave lessons while masked, and the public health center decided no one was considered a close contact. The education board will give precautionary PCR tests to 38 people including the class's pupils and other teachers who had contact with them. Education board chief Masaru Shirahata said: "It was inappropriate behavior from a public educator. We will respond strongly."

    (Japanese original by Kiyomasa Nakamura, Hanshin Bureau)

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