THE cities of Talisay and Cebu have suspended classes in public schools, whether modular or face-to-face, following the recent rise in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and the implementation of Alert Level 3 in the entire Cebu island.

Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. announced the suspension of classes in the city’s public schools from Jan. 19 to 28, 2022.

Private schools are given the discretion to suspend classes or not, Gullas said.

The mayor assured public school students that, despite the suspension of classes, their summer break would continue as scheduled.

“Sa mga students nato, ayaw kabalaka, according to our DepED (Department of Education) superintendent dili ibaylo ang inyong summer vacation sa mga na missed na adlaw ninyo because of the suspension of these school days,” Gullas said.

(To our students, there is no need to worry. According to our DepEd superintendent, the makeup classes due to the suspension will not affect your summer vacation.)

On Sunday, Jan. 16, Talisay recorded 31 new Covid-19 cases, bringing its active cases to 242.

The youngest of the new cases was a five-year-old boy from Barangay Linao, while the oldest was an 87-year-old man from Barangay Pooc.

In a Facebook post, Gullas said even if the city had reached the 70 percent vaccination mark for its eligible population, unvaccinated residents should still be vaccinated and receive booster shots.

The mayor said based on data from the Department of Health, those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and boosted experience mild symptoms compared to those who aren’t vaccinated.

Meanwhile, DepEd Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud issued a memorandum dated Jan. 15, 2022, suspending classes and onsite reporting to schools of teachers and learners in Cebu City public schools effective Jan. 17 to 30, 2022.

“All synchronous and asynchronous classes shall be put on hold while submission of academic requirements and conduct of other teaching-related activities must be moved to a later date, and for late submission of requirements, accommodations must be afforded for those with valid reasons,” said Angtud.

Angtud, however, reminded all school heads that with the suspension of classes, the necessary adjustments must be made to ensure that the number of school days in the current school year remains in accordance with Republic Act 11480, an act that lengthens the school calendar from 200 days to no more than 220 days.

Cebu City reported 671 new Covid-19 cases on Jan. 17, bringing its active cases to 3,211, a huge jump from just eight active cases on Jan. 2.

Mandaue City

In Mandaue City, lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, said Tuesday that there was no recommendation coming from the DepEd’s Division Office to suspend classes in the city.

The whole Cebu, including its highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, is under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 31.

Areas under Alert Level 3 are those where case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care utilization rate at increasing utilization, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Under Alert Level 3, face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the IATF and/or the Office of the President, are prohibited.

For higher education and technical-vocational education and training, however, limited in-person classes are allowed at a maximum of 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity. (ANV / MVG, CTL, IRT)