More than 160 teens forced to self-isolate after classmate catches coronavirus

An entire school year have to self-isolate for a fortnight just days after returning to the classroom after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19.

Wiltshire Council confirmed that a Year Nine student and four members of staff at St Augustine’s Catholic College in Somerset have contracted coronavirus.

It means that 160 Year Nine students will have to self-isolate for two weeks.

But the school’s headteacher said the it will be business as usual for the rest of pupils and they will open as normal.

He told Somerset Live : "I would like to reassure our parents we have been working closely with Public Health England and Wiltshire Council to ensure this is managed appropriately and the school is ready to reopen tomorrow.

"Close contacts identified are now self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance. Those who are being asked to self-isolate will continue to carry out home learning so they can continue their studies.

“"We are looking forward to welcoming all other pupils back on Tuesday into school. Meanwhile, we continue to work closely with Public Health England to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our pupils for adapting to the new strict procedures we have in place so effectively and for being a credit to the school."

Wiltshire council said all the correct procedures had been followed by the school.

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Kate Blackburn, director of public health at Wiltshire Council, added: "We are taking a very precautionary approach to ensure we minimise the risk of any transmission in the school.

"We will support the school as they provide home learning to the pupils asked to self-isolate and we will continue to provide advice and guidance to ensure high standards of hygiene and social distancing are maintained.

"A comprehensive cleaning regime was already in place at the school and this is being robustly continued during the teacher training day before the children attend school again.

"We would like to reassure people living and working in Wiltshire that while we do expect to see more cases in the weeks and months ahead, we have robust mechanisms in place to contain the infection and protect the health of the local community."

It comes after dozens of schools in England and Wales reported outbreaks as kids returned to the classrooms this week.

Staff and students across the country have been sent home and told to self isolate.

Schools in Liverpool, Suffolk, Bradford, Manchester and Nottingham have all reported outbreaks.

On Sunday the UK announced 2,988 new cases, and on Monday another 2,948 infections were reported.

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