Commencement of Staggered School Attendance, Schools in Ikeda Town Also Begins School Lunches

Commencement of Staggered School Attendance, Schools in Ikeda Town Also Begins School Lunches

Elementary and Junior High Schools in 17 Municipalities within Fukui Prefecture

Elementary and junior high schools within Fukui Prefecture have been operating with a staggered student attendance schedule leading up to the June 1st reopening day, after being closed as a preventative measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Generally, students attend their elementary or junior high school to hand in or pick up assignments, or for consultation with their teachers, before returning home after several hours; however, schools in six municipalities (Katsuyama City, Eiheiji Town, Ikeda Town, Wakasa Town, Oi Town, and Takahama Town) have been carrying out classes on a shortened schedule. On May 25th, the schools in Ikeda Town commenced school lunch service for the students.

From May 7th, elementary and junior high schools, starting with Awara City, Ikeda Town, Wakasa Town, and then Takahama Town, one after the other, began having its students go to school on a staggered schedule, with schools in Fukui City and Tsuruga City being the last to do so from the 25th. Although many municipalities have students attend school once or twice a week, Awara and Obama cities increased its attendance frequency to three times a week from the 25th. Many elementary schools have their students go to school in groups, divided based on their area of residence, while junior high schools have their students divided by school year. The amount of time spend in school is between 1 and 3 hours. Within 11 municipalities, in addition to handing in and picking up assignments, the students’ health conditions are monitored, and are given guidance on infection prevention.

At the same time, there are municipalities with schools that have been carrying out classes on a reduced schedule. In Katsuyama City, schools have been making use of the learning support videos created by the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education, and distributed through DVDs (the schools’ lesson frequency are not affected by the lesson videos). In Ikeda Town, from May 25th, students are in school until 3:00 p.m., with 30 minute classes for elementary schools, and 45 minute classes for junior high schools.

Regarding school lunches, the service will resume within 11 municipalities form June 1st. As for Sakai City, which will resume school lunches from the 2nd, a request was made towards the school lunch centers for meals which will be easy to set on the table, and for ingredients to not have direct contact with bare hands.

Leading up to the school reopening, each municipal education board distributed antiseptic solution to its schools, and issued guidance for thorough infection prevention measures, such as frequent room ventilation. In Sabae City, distribution of face shields for every elementary and junior high school students, as well as for every teacher, has been completed. Echizen City has also distributed face shileds, for everyone within the elementary and junior high schools to each receive two. In Takahama Town, desks are being disinfected with hypochlorite water, and have been setting up humidifiers.

“It would be ideal if we could divide class sizes in half, to reduce the number of students during lessons; however, that would require double the teachers, which is unrealistic. We can only proceed with our current means, while being thorough with things like room ventilation during class,” said an Echizen City Board of Education associate, bracing for the school reopening.


Seven COVID-19 Cases in Four Cities, Including Fukui and Echizen Cities

Seven COVID-19 Cases in Four Cities, Including Fukui and Echizen Cities

April 5 Novel Coronavirus Report by Fukui Prefecture, Two in Serious Condition

On April 5th, there has been confirmation of 7 new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within Fukui Prefecture, of people from Fukui City, Sabae City, Sakai City, and Echizen City. Fukui Prefecture reported brief details for the 47th through to the 53rd COVID-19 case within the prefecture as follows:

[47] Echizen City male company employee, in his 20s

[48] Sabae City male company employee, in his 50s

[49] Fukui City male restaurant employee, in his 70s

[50] Sakai City female company employee, in her 50s

[51] Echizen City male company employee, in his 50s

[52] Fukui City independent businessman, in his 40s

[53] Fukui City independent businesswoman, in her 70s

Two people, of cases [51] and [53], are in serious condition; they have entered intensive care, and have been put on ventilators.


Total of Twenty Novel Coronavirus Cases in Fukui Prefecture

Total of Twenty Novel Coronavirus Cases in Fukui Prefecture

March 31 Report, Seventh Consecutive day of Infection Confirmations

On March 31st, Fukui Prefecture reported five new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Along with three cases in Fukui City, one case in Sakai City and one case in Minamiechizen Town has been confirmed. Within the prefecture, the number of cases has reached twenty. With the seventh consecutive day of COVID-19 case confirmations, five cases in one day has been the highest rate of confirmations.

Of the five cases are [1] a Fukui City female restaurant employee/dental assistant (30s; symptom outbreak on March 18th; close contact with 10 people), [2] a Fukui City male company employee (20s; symptom outbreak on the 27th; investigation in-progress), [3] a Sakai City independent businessman (60s; symptom outbreak on the 27th; close contact with 1 person), [4] a Minamiechizen Town unemployed female (60s; symptom outbreak on the 27th; close contact with 1 person), and [5] a Fukui City male company employee (40s; symptom outbreak on the 22nd; close contact with 2 people). The first four listed experienced mild symptoms, while the fifth case experienced more serious symptoms, with a form of pneumonia and difficulty breathing. The third listed had no underlying conditions.

During March 17th and 19th, while the Fukui City restaurant employee [1] was working, serving customers, six men (ages ranging from 50s through 60s) who had been infected with COVID-19 had eaten at the restaurant. Hiroyuki Kubota, chief of the Prefectural Health and Welfare Department, explained, “(Regarding the infection route), there appears to be some some connections between the various cases.” After symptoms had risen, the restaurant employee [1] had worked in the restaurant for three days, and in the dental clinic for seven days. Of the approximately 20 restaurant employees, 2 patrons, and 7 dental clinic staff the restaurant employee [1] had close contact with, none have shown any symptoms. The restaurant and dental clinic are currently closed.

The Fukui City company employee [2] had met with an Echizen City independent businessman (50s; 7th COVID-19 case, confirmed on March 27th) through work on the 21st. During the two-week period prior to the onset of symptoms, the Fukui City company employee [5] had been to Kyoto Prefecture on a business trip during March 11th and 12th.

Up to this point, the prefecture has seen some connections between the infected persons, to be able to see one large cluster of infections; however, Chief Kubota explained, “(The Fukui City company employee [5]) had many interactions with people outside the prefecture; there is a possibility this case has not interacted with (the cluster) we have had up to now.”

For seven consecutive days, there have been 19 confirmed infection cases. Regarding the situation, in which the numbers have been increasing with each passing day, Chief Kubota expressed, “Working within the premise that the cases are connected to form one cluster, we have been focusing our investigation into those who have had close contact with already confirmed cases; and thus, there will be a tendency for these numbers to rise. Therefore, we believe this situation is different from the notion in which the virus has been spreading. We wish for the citizens of the prefecture to continue to maintain composure, and act accordingly.”