• New Coronavirus Cases Among Teens Unsettle Teachers, Parents Ahead Of Fall Semester

Image: Yonhap News
Image: Yonhap News
Health officials and municipal governments are on edge after five high school students in Yongin, south of Seoul, tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

The first student was confirmed to have the virus, and four other friends -- one classmate and three from a different school -- were confirmed the next day.

In a separate case, a high school student who lives in Goyang tested positive last Wednesday, after the student's mother was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The student's schoolmate also contracted the virus.

Officials said in both cases, the teenagers were attending in-person classes.

Health officials are studying how they became infected, but the Ministry of Education cautiously predicted on Thursday that they could have contracted the virus while hanging out after school.

The situation is unsettling for educators and parents as most schools are scheduled to end summer vacation and open for the fall semester at the end of this month.

Despite the persistent health risks posed by the coronavirus, some education offices in provinces with low caseloads are suggesting schools switch back to in-person instruction as learning gaps have widened amid the pandemic.

The ministry said each autonomous office will have to decide what type of instruction it will implement, but strongly recommended a two-thirds cap on student attendance for schools with more than 1,000 students and classrooms with more than 30 students.
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