Confirmed coronavirus case at Heathfield school

Staff and children at a Heathfield primary school are self-isolating after a positive coronavirus case was confirmed.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 9:56 am
Updated Thursday, 24th September 2020, 10:02 am

Public Health England said it has worked closely with Cross in Hand CEP School in Sheepsetting Lane following the confirmed Covid-19 case.

Trish Mannes, deputy director for health protection at PHE South East, said: “Following a confirmed case we worked closely with the school and local authority to provide public health advice aimed at helping stop the spread of the virus.

“Staff and children who are identified as close contacts of the confirmed case will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days from last exposure, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.”

Cross in Hand CEP School. Picture: Google Street View

Schools have been advised to take steps to help reduce the spread of the virus, including staff and pupils washing their hands more often than usual for 20 seconds with soap and water, coughing and sneezing into tissues and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, cleaning frequently touched surfaces regularly and minimising contact with other people as far as possible.

Local authorities and the PHE have plans in place to support schools in the event of cases among pupils or staff, Ms Mannes said.

She added: “Our research has shown that the number of outbreaks in schools tends to reflect the rate of infection in the wider community.

“The more cases there are in an area, the more likely it is we will see cases in schools as well.

“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community will help prevent cases in schools. That means it is more important than ever that people continue to follow the government’s advice on social distancing, hand hygiene and other infection control measures.

“Children who are unwell should not attend school, regardless of whether their illness is COVID-19 related or not. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of COVID-19 should seek a test.”

Schools have been advised to take appropriate public health measures in line with national guidance to ensure it is safe for other pupils and staff to attend as normal.

And with the virus still circulating, the PHE said following the guidance is vital in helping protect local communities.

If anyone does develop symptoms, which include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate straight away and arrange a COVID-19 test:

• Talk is increasing of further lockdowns in the UK. What do you think of the situation? Join the Big Conversation and have your say on everything from healthcare to how the pandemic has affected you personally and how we make our communities stronger: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bc-eastbourne