A school in Suffolk had to be closed down today after five teachers tested positive for coronavirus – with more members of staff awaiting test results.
Pupils had started to return to the Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk, last Thursday – but classes in years nine and 11 were due for their first day back today.
In a statement, the school said that the closure was a ‘precautionary measure’ and it hoped to reopen on Tuesday.
Headteacher Andy Hunter said: “The safety of pupils and all those who work at the school is my biggest priority.
“Obviously this is a huge disappointment after working so hard to get the school back up and running. 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. We were delighted that term had started so well last week and were looking forward to the final two-year groups starting (on Monday).
“But I have had excellent support from Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and Suffolk County Council. We are determined to do all we can to stop the further spread of the virus and agree with the precautionary action to close the school (on Monday).”
SurgeZirc UK learnt that a deep clean will take place at the school.
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.”
Anyone who has been in close contact with the infected staff has been contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days, the school said.
Further contact tracing will continue and additional pupils and staff may be asked to self-isolate.