Philipsburg- The Government of St. Maarten has taken note of the notice by French President Emmanuel Macron and by extension the Préfet of St. Martin and St. Barths Ms. Sylvie Foucher related to school closures within all French territories. This decision does not affect schools on Dutch St. Maarten.
In previous discussions held with the Préfet, this topic was discussed at length, ‘that given a situation where either sides of the island were to have (2 on Dutch St. Maarten or 3 on French Saint Martin) confirmed and unrelated cases requiring hospitalization, that closure of schools would be the first phase of “shut down” to prevent further spreading of the virus.’ Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “As that is currently not the case on either side, while the French side has to follow the lead of the state, St. Maarten will make that call when and if it is deemed necessary.”
At this point, St. Maarten has not yet reached the threshold as agreed upon for school closure. The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) and the St. Maarten Red Cross have been actively involved in executing the COVID-19 awareness programs amongst the various stakeholders in the Education sector. Inspectors will continue to monitor, report and advise should school closures be necessary.
The general public is encouraged to remain calm, continue to use proper hygiene, washing hands often, keeping hands away from the face, and ensuring cleanliness in and around living areas. Parents are reminded to teach and re-enforce proper hygiene at home, and to keep sick children at home until they are well.