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Official Statement on the COVID-19

24 Mar 2020 General, Babies and Toddlers, Preschool, Preparatory and College

As you may be aware, Mount Kelly School Hong Kong was recently in the media. We would like to take the time to explain that some of these recent news reports surrounding our teaching staff are either misleading or incorrect.

The school’s response to recent news reports

1) School ski trip to Switzerland 
(a) The first teacher who tested positive for the Covid-19 attended a group dinner the day after returning from the ski trip. Another individual (separate from Mount Kelly) from this dinner has also tested positive. Therefore, we believe this case resulted from an outside gathering. The second teacher who attended the trip took a precautionary test right after the trip and the result was negative. However, recently this second teacher has tested positive but it should be known that the doctor who assessed him stated this result was due to a more recent social gathering and could not have resulted from the ski trip due to the length of time since his return to Hong Kong.
(b) All students who attended the trip have shown zero symptoms since their return on 8 March. In addition, the result of one child's precautionary test was negative. We will continue to monitor their progress and their health.

(c) Safety measures were taken throughout the trip, such as wearing masks and following proper hygiene procedures. 

2) No connection between the cases
(a) As stipulated by the Education Bureau, the school is currently closed and online learning has been offered on a continual basis since the beginning of February. Teaching staff were only required to go to campus on an occasional and a rotational basis, while working in their own classrooms.

(b) Those members of staff who tested positive listed social gatherings as a probable cause of how they contracted the virus. These means could have been through dinner gatherings, shopping, beauty salons, going to the gym, etc. Therefore, there is no connection between the cases occurring on our campus.

(c) It is thus misleading to link together these members of staff under a “Mount Kelly group”, as their contraction with the novel coronavirus is not related to our campus.
3) Nursery and Preschool campuses
Those members of staff who tested positive for the Covid-19 are from our Prep school. It is a bit unfortunate that some TV stations have wrongly used our Nursery School and Preschool in their footage, which is misleading and incorrect. 

Follow-up actions by school

1) Thorough deep cleaning and disinfecting of Prep School campus on 18-20 March
As a precautionary measure, the whole campus of the Prep school at Austin Tower, including all the classrooms and school offices, had undergone a thorough deep cleaning and disinfecting that was carried out over a period of three days immediately after the school’s first confirmed case (18-20 March). This in-depth cleaning was conducted by a professional company recognised by the Department of Environment and was in addition to our daily cleaning done by our staff.
2) Additional Prep teaching staff who had been in close contact with those who tested positive voluntarily tested themselves and they have received negative test results. 
3) Since the first confirmed case, all teaching staff were advised by Mount Kelly Senior Leadership Team to self-isolate at home for 14 days as a precautionary measure, whilst continuing their home learning lessons for their students.
4) A thorough and in-depth cleaning and disinfecting of the Nursery School and Preschool campus will occur next week. This is in answer to concerns raised on the possible cross contamination between Mount Kelly’s Prep school campus and Nursery School and Preschool campus. The same deep-cleaning and disinfecting of our Austine Place campus will be undertaken as was completed for our Prep school at Austin Tower, to give our parents a peace of mind, as the school always puts safeguarding as a top priority. 
We would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that for those who visited the Austin Tower campus for meetings in the past three weeks, please rest reassured that no one was in contact with the teaching staff in question, nor could there have been a secondary contact through meeting other members of staff.

We always put our students learning and growth as our first priority. Our foundation, management team and teaching staff will continue to work together in order to provide continuous home learning to the highest level to our students. 
Though the school closure has been extended amid the coronavirus outbreak, our school will continue to provide continuous and extensive home learning to our students, including live lessons and one-to-one classes, while our teachers will work remotely and diligently at home. 

On a final note, the school would like to thank all the parents’ unfailing support of our school. This is not an easy time for everyone but we believe through solidarity, it is important that we all work together. We are confident that as a united school community, we will move forward in a positive direction.

Best regards,
Mount Kelly Foundation Senior Management Team

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