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A senior female teacher assigned to the Pentecostal Light and Life Foundation High School in Scarborough, Tobago, has died from COVID-19.

The middle-aged woman was reportedly quarantined on November 4 and later received confirmed news of her positive status on November 12.

Her condition deteriorated and she passed away from the disease.

Extending condolences to the teacher’s family, as well as the staff and student population yesterday as he learnt of the death, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) representative for Tobago, Bradon Roberts expressed concern about the contact tracing processes in schools.

He said, “The length of time it takes for the school to be notified that there is someone who is a primary contact, or that there is someone who is of concern, or that someone tested positive…there is a delay in the system.”

He added, “By the time you really get someone confirmed, it is sometime since last week and that person was interacting with others. The contact tracing is not as crisp as we would want it to be.”

Yesterday, there were unconfirmed reports that at least one student at the same school had also tested positive.

Other school officials expressed similar dissatisfaction with the contact tracing processes overall and pointed to the positive student who had been moving around school freely last week, unaware of her positive status while she had been awaiting test results.

Meanwhile, staff at the school are said to be shaken up by the teacher’s death and are scared to report for duty as scheduled.

Reports reaching school sources claimed that while the school’s principal had granted staff permission to remain at home while the school was sanitised, the Division of Education had written to educators advising that they were to report for work today as normal.

Roberts was unable to comment on this.

However, he said if teachers failed to report for work as scheduled, they would have to account for the day.

In August, the principal of Tableland High School, Rajesh Ram, also died from COVID-19.