COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

ASD is poised to react quickly and be agile to changing circumstances due to COVID-19 so that our students' education will receive minimal disruption. This means ASD is prepared to transition across a spectrum that includes 100% distance learning and full reopening on either side. In all circumstances, ASD will adhere to the directives and regulations of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and other Dubai governmental agencies who are managing the pandemic nationwide.

Latest Health & Safety Updates

—Update December 30, 2020—

Information on Vaccination

Vaccinations represent one of the most monumental advances in science and medicine and save millions of lives each year. We are more hopeful than ever that the combination of these new, effective coronavirus vaccines, with continued public health measures, will end the global pandemic.

Fortunately, the Dubai Health Authority has approved two safe and effective vaccines to be used against COVID-19. The Chinese Sinopharm mass vaccine program was launched on December 15, 2020, and is now available at the Field Hospital in Dubai Parks and Resorts (long lines can be expected). Additionally and recently, Dubai has launched the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday, December 23, 2020...

Read Our Vaccine FAQs »

—Update Sept 15, 2020—

Remember to Maintain Physical Distancing

Parents and caregivers, please avoid congregating closely during drop-off and pick-up times and refrain from holding or attending large social gatherings. The latest data released from the DHA highlights that the vast majority of positive cases have been attributed to social gatherings, where people are not maintaining physical distancing requirements and are not wearing masks.

Contact Tracing

Please keep your children home and inform ASD's Health Office immediately if anyone in your household, or if anyone you have been in close contact with, tests positive for COVID-19. Please also inform us if anyone in your household, or anyone you have been in close contact with, is suspected of having COVID-19 and is getting tested. We will work with the DHA contact tracing team as we investigate positive cases and will inform you immediately if you or your family members are identified as close contacts.

Quick Links

ASD's Health & Safety Measures

Learning Guides

School Reopening Guide 2020

ASD Distance Learning Model

Dr. Omaima

Tips from our School Physician

Dr. Omaima Ataya '94 is the School Physician at the American School of Dubai, and was part of ASD's first graduating class. View her Tips for Keeping Students Safe ».

Contact healthoffice@asdubai.org with questions on COVID-19.

Vaccine FAQs

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a vaccine that can protect you from getting COVID-19 and from getting complications associated with the virus. Rather than using inactivated or attenuated viral particles, this vaccine contains the mRNA sequence for the coronavirus spike protein. mRNA (or messenger RNA) is the genetic material our cells read (or translate) to make proteins. The injected mRNA is encased in a lipid coat to deliver the mRNA into your cell without being digested by your enzymes and destroyed. The protected mRNA code enters into your cell and operates in the cytoplasm, harnessing your immune system’s ability to read the code and make proteins. The injected mRNA actually codes for the coronavirus spike protein, so your cells start producing these coronavirus spike proteins. Your cells produce ONLY the coronavirus spike proteins; they cannot produce the actual virus. The appearance of these harmless spike proteins in your cells triggers your immune system to generate the classic B-cell antibody response. This prepares your immune system to be able to effectively fight off the virus if you become exposed and infected in the future. The mRNA from the vaccine is eventually destroyed by your cells without any permanent trace. At the end of this process, you are left with memory B cells and T cells programmed and ready to protect you from coronavirus and its complications without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. Here’s a quick video illustrating how the mRNA technology works.

No. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19. The mRNA in this vaccine is not part of the actual virus and so cannot make you sick with COVID-19. In addition, the mRNA does not modify or affect your cell’s DNA as it never enters the cell’s nucleus where your DNA lives.

The first phase of the Pfizer-BioNTech campaign will target certain high priority groups who are Emirati citizens and Dubai residents. These high priority groups are defined as: people above the age of 60, those with certain chronic high risk conditions, people of determination, and frontline workers (such as healthcare professionals).

Are Teachers Eligible? Anyone who is a teacher above the age of 60 or with a chronic high-risk condition would be eligible for the vaccine at this time. Unfortunately, if you do not meet these criteria, then you cannot get the vaccine in Dubai at this time. The first phases of the campaign only include healthcare workers and those in vital sectors such as ambulance and police workers. Eventually, the vaccine will become available to all individuals above the age of 18 who wish to take it.

Can my kids get the vaccine? No, not yet. Clinical trials are still ongoing to establish safety and efficacy in the pediatric population. At this time the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is only approved in Dubai for people 18 years of age and older and in the US for people 16 years of age and older.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding? If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your options with your doctor as clinical trials for these special groups are still ongoing.

What if I don’t fit the above criteria but still want to get the vaccine? Don’t worry, the vaccine will eventually be made available to all individuals who wish to receive it. At this time the campaign is prioritizing the high risk groups who are more likely to get exposed to the virus and/or are more susceptible to serious complications and even death if they get infected.

COVID-19 FAQs

Symptoms may include: fever, body aches, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and sore throat

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 AND have a travel history to the following countries (China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Singapore or Italy) in the past 28 days, OR have had close contact with a person under investigation for COVID-19, then stay at home, call ahead and go to your nearest hospital listed above who can assess and test for the virus if indicated. Avoid travel except to get medical care.

COVID-19 laboratory testing is performed at Latifa Hospital national public health laboratory. You can go to the following hospitals listed below to do the initial assessment and collect samples for COVID-19 testing:

Mediclinic Parkview Hospital
Mediclinic City Hospital
Mediclinic Welcare Hospital
American Hospital
Al Zahra Hospital
Saudi German Hospital
Latifa Hospital

 

If a person is in “isolation” then he/she has received a confirmed lab report of a positive COVID-19 PCR test. This means that the person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. An isolated person must stay in their room, use their own designated bathroom, and keep away from other family members. Typically the isolation period lasts for at least 14 days.

If a person is in “quarantine” then he/she has been identified as a “close contact” of a positive COVID-19 case. This means that the person may be infected with COVID-19 and therefore must stay at home away from others to reduce the risk of transmission if he/she is infected. The quarantine period lasts for 14 days, regardless of a negative test at any point during this period. If you are in isolation or in quarantine, then you may not leave your home. You cannot go to the grocery store or to the gym. You also may not invite friends into your home.

A "close contact" will be identified by the ASD Health and Safety Officer in collaboration with the DHA through investigating and interviewing. By definition, a close contact is someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within a distance of 2 meters from a confirmed COVID-19 case. Wearing a mask greatly reduces the risk of infection; however, it does not change whether or not someone is identified as a “close contact,” and that person must still quarantine for 2 weeks.

Absolutely. All the expert authorities, including the DHA, WHO, CDC, and AAP, strongly recommend getting the flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age by the end of October. This is especially important this year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Children 6 months to 8 years of age should receive 2 doses if this is the first time being vaccinated against influenza, or if they have only received 1 dose of flu vaccine ever before July 1, 2020. The flu vaccine is now available at several medical facilities across Dubai.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the ASD Health Office or the Health & Safety Officer with any questions or concerns. Together we will come up with the best plan for you and your family.