Covid outbreak closes Leicester primary school until after Easter while just one year group is left at Manchester secondary after pupils test positive
- St Mary’s Fields Primary School has sent 480 pupils home after a Covid outbreak
- Two secondary schools in Wigan have sent year groups home after positive tests
- St Mary’s Catholic High School identified positive cases everywhere but Year 7
- Whole of Year 10 has been sent home at nearby Fred Longworth High School
An outbreak of Covid-19 has shut a Leicester primary school until after Easter – while just one year group is allowed to attend a Manchester secondary today after pupils tested positive.
St Mary’s Fields Primary School in Rowley Fields, Leicester sent a letter to parents on Sunday telling its 480 students not to come in this week, following an outbreak among staff.
Headteacher Rebecca Dulieu said ‘Whilst the number of cases remains relatively low, it has significantly affected staffing levels due to the number of staff now having to self-isolate.’
The school will not reopen until after the Easter holidays.
In Wigan, two schools have been affected by outbreaks, with headteachers deciding to send hundreds of pupils home as a result.
St Mary’s Catholic High School in Astley, Wigan, had to keep all year groups except Year 7 at home today after pupils tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend
Yesterday St Mary’s Catholic High School in Astley told all of its students in Years 8 to 13 to stay at home after pupils from a range of year groups tested positive.
According to Manchester Evening News, the decision was made after pupils returned positive lateral flow tests over the weekend.
Headteacher Andrew Dawson told the website almost 1,000 tests were carried out over the weekend.
He added: ‘Up to yesterday we had identified a number of positive cases across the school with the exception of Year 7.
St Mary’s Fields Primary School in Rowley Fields, Leicester, will remain closed until after the Easter holidays after staff tested positive for the virus. Headteacher said the outbreak had ‘significantly affected staffing levels’
‘In consultation with the local authority the decision was taken to stop face to face teaching and hence student interaction on Monday 22nd March for all year groups except Year 7.
‘The rationale behind this was to allow a pause in face to face teaching so that a balanced and proportionate decision, informed by health protection experts, was made to keep everyone in the community as safe as possible.’
Nearby Fred Longworth High School, in Tyldesley, has told all Year 10 pupils to stay at home today.
Contact tracing is being carried out to see who may have been infected by a pupil who tested positive on Sunday.
Close contacts of a Year 8 pupil have been told to self-isolate until the start of April.
Year 10 pupils have been told stay at home until further notice.
In Leicester, St Mary’s Fields Primary School pupils will not return until after the Easter break, Mrs Dulieu said: ‘I know that this will cause great frustration after only welcoming all the children back two weeks ago, but I want to reassure you that we have looked at all other options before reaching this decision for health and safety reasons.
‘Whilst the number of cases remains relatively low, it has significantly affected staffing levels due to the number of staff now having to self-isolate.’
She said the school’s safeguarding team, first aiders team and premises/cleaning team ‘have been significantly affected’ by the outbreak.
One parent said today ‘The first thing you hope is that everybody is okay but the school hasn’t actually said how many cases there have been and whether it’s staff, kids or both.
‘It’s a bit gutting because everyone was really excited about being back after such a long time and the teachers had been working really hard to catch everybody up.
‘It’s a pretty big school and they’ve done really well avoid this happening up to now.’
Yesterday saw a rise on the week-on-week number of Covid-19 infections, with 5,312 cases recorded, 15 per cent higher than the 4,618 cases seen on Sunday, March 14.
The number of Covid-19 deaths fell by a third, from 52 to 33.