Following confirmation that the additional confirmed case of Coronavirus at Trinity School had been in contact with the original case, Public Health England have now advised that the school should close from today. Parents will be able to collect their children from the school from any point today.
The school will remain closed until 23 March and a deep clean will be carried out.
Given the incubation period for the virus, people who do not have symptoms by 23 March are very unlikely to have picked up the virus from this source. Anyone with symptoms when the school reopens should not return to school until well.
The advice for families and the wider community is that self-isolating is not required unless you are a contact of a known case and have been advised specifically by Public Health England to do so, but if people do develop symptoms they, and the people they live with, should self-isolate immediately and call NHS 111.
Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, said:
“This is a fast evolving situation and the school has been following all the official guidance it has received. The reality is that it was always uncertain that the virus could be fully contained, and in practice we are now at the stage of trying to delay and slow its spread. This is a disease we will have to live with, so it’s now about managing that reality.
“It is likely there will be more cases confirmed within the school community and locally over the coming days and people should continue to follow the core advice around hygiene good practice, but self-isolation is only recommended if people develop symptoms.
“I understand this is a worrying situation, particularly for those who are more vulnerable, that it is why it is so important to take the sensible steps to avoid spreading infection.”
Dr Will Welfare, Interim Deputy Director of Health Protection, Public Health England North West, said:
“Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to Trinity School in Cumbria. We’re working closely with Cumbria Council to provide all necessary support to the school and local community to manage the situation.
“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”