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Moscow Schools to Partially Return to Classes to Contain Virus – Mayor

Moscow authorities had extended the traditional weeklong fall school break by a week in an effort to prevent children from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Kirill Zhukov / Moskva News Agency

First to fifth-grade students in Moscow will return to classrooms next week following a two-week recess aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Wednesday. 

Moscow authorities had extended the traditional weeklong fall school break by a week in an effort to prevent children from contracting and spreading the coronavirus, which has seen record increases in recent days. 

“The measure has proven to be effective. The portion of children among the infected has decreased from 19 to 11% in recent days,” Sobyanin said in a statement on his website. 

Students in grades 6-11, who account for two-thirds of reported infections among children, will continue to attend classes remotely until the end of the month, Sobyanin said.

State-owned supplementary education centers and recreational facilities for children of all age groups will remain closed until Nov. 1.

The government had suspended schoolchildren’s public-transport discounts during the holiday period and will keep this measure in place for students remaining on remote learning. 

Sobyanin also announced plans to introduce a tutoring model in some classrooms. Student teachers and recent teaching graduates will be invited to teach in classrooms under the remote supervision of more experienced teachers deemed to be at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19. 

Russia has been reporting a growing number of new Covid-19 cases since September, with a new all-time record of 14,231 new cases set on Wednesday. 

According to information obtained by the Vedomosti business daily, Moscow authorities will consider tightening existing restrictions if daily infection numbers continue to rise. Possible measures may include a digital pass system and even a return to full lockdown. 

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