The private and expensive Oslo International School in Bærum (OIS) chose to close its doors on Friday, the first in Norway to do so because of concerns over the Corona virus. At least eight other Norwegian schools and one day care center have also been hit by the virus, but their infected students were so far mostly asked to just stay home.
State broadcaster NRK reported Friday morning that OIS, which once counted Princess Ingrid Alexandra among its students, posted a notice on its Facebook page simply stating that the school “will be closed to students today – Friday 6 March 2020” with no further explanation. TV2 reported, however, that OIS sent an email to parents Thursday evening that one of its elementary school students had “unfortunately tested positive to the Corona virus” that same evening. It cited security reasons for the closure and asked parents not to be “too” worried. NRK reported that OIS administrator Knut Sørlie refused to answer questions.
Local officials in Bærum stressed that they had not ordered the school to close and most others in Norway with a few Corona-positive students were remaining open in Stavanger, Vestfold, Telemark and Trøndelag. Another student at a junior high school in Bærum has also tested positive, but the school remained open. NRK later reported that one school and a day-care center in Frosta had closed.
OIS, where teaching is conducted in English, accepts students from pre-school age through high school, with annual fees ranging from NOK 102,500 to 224,000 per year (USD 11,000-24,000). It claims on its website to have around 600 students from approximately 50 nations.