Parts of school closed after staff member tests positive for coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 18:34 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:35 10 June 2020
Parts of a Norfolk primary school have closed until next Monday after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.
Heacham Junior School, which opened to more pupils from Monday, has closed two ‘bubbles’ - pupils being taught in small groups - as a precautionary measure and they will now remain closed until June 15.
West Norfolk Academies Trust informed parents of children that the member of staff had received a positive Covid-19 test result.
The test was taken on Sunday, June 7 - the day before the school, which has 139 pupils and is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, reopened.
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Louise Jackson, executive headteacher of Heacham Infant, Junior and Snettisham Primary Schools, said: “This member of staff had shown none of the main Covid-19 symptoms but after suffering from a headache, was advised by a qualified medical professional to be tested.
“She was not at work on Monday when the school reopened but she did visit the school on Thursday, June 4 for a 45-minute briefing with three other members of staff in a classroom.
“They maintained social distancing throughout their time on site and cleaners worked in that classroom shortly afterwards, ensuring it was cleaned to current Covd-19 guidelines.”
Andy Johnson, West Norfolk Academies Trust executive headteacher, said that Public Health England told the trust it does not believe the school needs to be fully closed and praised senior leadership for the cautious action taken.
He added: “We have been in contact with Public Health England today and it has advised us, as a precautionary measure, that these three other members of staff need to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested.
“The tests are a completely precautionary measure as none of these members of staff are displaying any symptoms.”
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Roger Livesey, chair of the Trust, said it had made the decision to keep two ‘bubbles’ closed for the remainder of this week.
He said: “This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but we believe it is in the best interest of our staff and children. Our aim is to reopen these bubbles at Heacham Junior School on Monday, June 15.
“We informed the parents affected this morning but have also encouraged all Heacham Junior parents to remind their children about social distancing and washing their hands regularly, and if their child shows any symptoms of Covid-19 to register to be tested within three days.”
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