UK school forced to close after five staff members test positive for Covid-19
London, Sep. 7, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A school in United Kingdom, UK, has been forced to close after five staff members tested positive for Covid-19
The infections come a week after children began returning to classrooms in England for the first time since lockdown in March.
Samuel Ward Academy, in Haverhill, Suffolk, is shut as a deep clean is carried out and the school’s headteacher establishes who the staff members have been in contact with.
A further two staff are also waiting for the results of a test.
The school will be closed today, 7 September, for a deep clean to allow headteacher Andy Hunter to determine what contact may have taken place between the members of staff who tested positive, all pupils and the wider school community.
Anyone who has been in close contact with infected staff has been contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Further contact tracing will continue and additional pupils and staff may be asked to self-isolate.
Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said it was “huge disappointment” after working so hard to reopen the school.
“I will be looking closely at the systems we put in place to try to understand how the transmission occurred and to make sure we do everything possible to limit the chances of the same thing happening again.
“I am very disappointed by this disrupted start to the school term. We have taken very extensive precautions.”
Most pupils returned to the school last week, while years 9 and 11 were set to have their first day back today.
Elsewhere, coronavirus cases have been confirmed at three schools in the area around Middlesbrough, although they will not be closing. Redcar and Cleveland borough council said on Sunday that a positive case had been recorded at St Benedict’s RC primary school.
St Aidan’s CE primary school, in Hartlepool, said in a Facebook post to parents it also had a confirmed Covid-19 case, while Outwood Academy Ormesby, in Middlesbrough, said in a short statement that a confirmed case had been found “within the school community”.
The closure comes as UK recorded a massive rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, amid concerns the government has lost control of the epidemic just as people are returning to work and universities prepare to reopen
On Sunday almost 3,000 people in the UK tested positive for Covid-19, a 50% increase in a single day and the highest daily total since May.