Coronavirus: Ignore social media ‘fake news’ says school where teacher has been tested
PUBLISHED: 07:03 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:07 11 March 2020
A school where a member of staff has been tested for coronavirus has urged parents to ignore ‘fake news’ on social media which claims that the school has been forced to shut.
A member of staff at Flegg Ormiston Academy in Martham is in self-isolation after visiting Northern Italy during the half-term break.
But the school has stressed it is remain open, despite claims on some social media sites.
The school posted a message on its own website saying: 'Please ignore fake news posted on social media. The academy is open as normal. All official information will be sent via e-mail and posted on the academy's website.'
The post continued: 'The academy is following the latest guidance from Public Health England and Department for Education to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the whole school community in light of the development that a staff member has sought advice from 111 and is being tested for Covid-19.
'The academy currently remains open as usual in line with the most up to date advice from the government. We will keep parents, carers and the wider community updated should this advice change.
'Anyone with concerns relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can access the latest advice here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
'Anyone returning from the identified countries or experiencing specific health concerns, related symptoms or with general medical enquiries should contact 111 for advice or visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19. They should not visit their local GP surgery or A&E.'
MORE: Norfolk academy teacher tested for coronavirus
A letter to parents sent out via email yesterday (Tuesday, March 10) from school principal Kate Williams moved to reassure parents the school was following all the latest government advice to keep pupils safe and undertaking additional cleaning.
The letter said: 'I wanted to write to assure you that the academy is following the latest advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education, to ensure the health and wellbeing of our whole school community, which is, as always our top priority.
'We have been made aware that a member of our teaching staff who visited a category 2 area (not one of the quarantined areas) in Northern Italy during the half term break, has today been advised to self-isolate after contacting 111 and has been tested for Covid-19, as a precautionary measure.
'We will of course continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated, as we know more.'
In the meantime the school said it would continue to follow guidance from the Department for Education regarding steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including coronavirus.
The letter asks for parents' help in encouraging safe practices at home.
It adds: 'As an academy, we take our duty of care extremely seriously and we will keep you updated on any further developments should the need arise.'
Latest figures show that 382 people are now confirmed to have Covid-19 in the UK - up from 319 the day before - and six people have died in British hospitals.
Health minister Nadine Dorries became the first MP to be diagnosed with the illness.
The Conservative MP said she has been self-isolating at home after testing positive and her parliamentary office has closed following advice from Public Health England.