Five schools in Leicester are forced to close after ‘no more’ than 10 staff and two pupils test positive for coronavirus
- Matt Hancock said Leicester was dealing with an ‘outbreak’ of the virus last week
- It has been confirmed staff at five Leicester schools tested positive for Covid-19
- Moat Community College, Herrick Primary and Whitehall Primary have closed
- This comes after Humberstone Infant and Junior Schools shut for deep cleaning
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Five schools in Leicester have been forced to temporarily close down this week after ‘no more’ than ten staff and a ‘couple’ of students tested positive for coronavirus.
Heath Secretary Matt Hancock announced last week that Leicester was dealing with an ‘outbreak’ of the deadly infection, although no further details were given.
But it has now been confirmed that some staff members have tested positive for the virus, causing the closure of five schools.
Education bosses at Leicester City Council said Moat Community College, Herrick Primary and Whitehall Primary are closed for deep cleaning.
Whitehall Primary is one of five Leicester schools that has closed for deep cleaning after some staff tested positive for coronavirus, the council said
Humberstone Infant and Junior Academies (pictured) shut ‘for the foreseeable future’ earlier this month and parents were told to self-isolate for 14 days
This comes after Humberstone Infant and Junior Academies shut ‘for the foreseeable future’ earlier this month and parents were told to self-isolate for 14 days, LeicestershireLive reported.
Director of education and social care Martin Samuels said: ‘The number of positive cases in schools remains very, very low.
‘In total, we are about at the fingers of two hands for cases.
‘It’s no more than 10 staff and there have been a couple of pupils who have tested positive across all of the schools.
‘There is no evidence that we have seen of transmission within schools and no suggestion that by being at school people are picking it up.
‘We are spotting it in schools and dealing with it.’
Mr Samuels added that the schools are being ‘cautious’ and have gone ‘beyond the public health advice’ in completely closing.
Herrick Primary remains closed until the end of next week. This comes after schools started offering to re-open to children of non-key workers earlier this month
Moat Community College will stay shut until next Monday after temporarily shutting for deep cleaning, Leicester City Council said
He said: ‘The schools are taking advice from the council’s director of public health, Ivan Browne, and his team, and we are being quite cautious.
‘The schools that are shut have actually gone further than the advice given to them. They didn’t need to close the whole school.
‘There has been one case where a school could have just sent that bubble home, but they took the view they wanted to be on the safe side and would send everyone home and do a deep clean of the school.
‘Another school where several staff tested positive got the whole school to self-isolate for 14 days. That’s beyond the public health advice.
‘We are being careful and cautious and it really is safe to send your child to school.’
The council said Humberstone Infant and Junior Academies were reopening on Wednesday, while Whitehall Primary would open its doors again on Thursday.
Heath Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) announced last week in a Downing Street press conference that Leicester was dealing with an ‘outbreak’ of coronavirus
Herrick Primary remains shut until the end of next week and Moat Community College will stay closed until next Monday.
Mr Samuels said the number of pupils returning to schools in Leicester was ‘creeping up’.
Earlier this month, schools started offering to re-open to children of non-key workers.
But the take-up is still low as it is currently optional for parents of pupils in eligible year groups to send their children back.
Mr Samuels added that it was difficult to get full attendance data from schools, but said between a third and a half of children who could go back were doing so.
But he said numbers had dropped off following Matt Hancock’s announcement, which came in a Downing Street press conference last week.