Coronavirus: Five teachers test positive in one school

Two more teachers await their Covid-19 test results as school shuts to enable contact tracing

Kate Ng
Monday 07 September 2020 10:43
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Five teachers at Samuel Ward Academy, in Haverhill, tested positive for Covid-19
Five teachers at Samuel Ward Academy, in Haverhill, tested positive for Covid-19

Five teachers from the same school in Suffolk have tested positive for coronavirus, with two more waiting for their test results.

The Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill closed its doors on Monday as a “precautionary measure”, in accordance with advice from Public Health England.

The school said in a statement it hopes to reopen on Tuesday and will notify parents by 5pm on Monday. Headteacher Andy Hunter said the safety of staff and pupils at the school is his “biggest priority”.

“Obviously this is a huge disappointment after working so hard to get the school back up and running,” he said.

“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.”

He added he was “very disappointed” in the disruption to the start of the school term, despite the administration having taken “very extensive precautions” to ensure the school was safe to return to.

“We were delighted that term had started so well last week and were looking forward to the final two year groups starting (on Monday),” he said.

Mr Hunter said they have received “excellent support” from Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and Suffolk County Council, and the school is determined to stop the virus from spreading further.

A deep clean is to take place at the school and anyone who had been in close contact with the infected staff has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health at Suffolk County Council, said: “Understandably, this news may worry parents across Suffolk, but it is important to remember that the risk of children contracting Covid-19 is still very small.

“Evidence suggests that children are more likely to contract Covid-19 at home.”

Dr David Edwards, from Public Health England East, added: “Our aim is to protect the staff and pupils of the school and prevent any further spread.

“On this occasion, closure of the school for a day is required to enable contact tracing to be completed so anyone needing to self-isolate is informed before returning to school.”

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