Coronavirus: Primary school closes for two weeks after caterer contracts Covid-19

Coronavirus: Primary school closes for two weeks after caterer contracts Covid-19


Coronavirus: Primary school closes for two weeks after caterer contracts Covid-19

Coronavirus: Primary school closes for two weeks after caterer contracts Covid-19

Coronavirus: Primary school closes for two weeks after caterer contracts Covid-19 1

A primary school in Surrey has been forced to close for two weeks after a member of the external catering team contracted coronavirus.

Parents of children at Epsom Primary School were informed of the decision to shut down completely following the discovery one of the caterers had tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.

Pupils who ate dinners in the school canteen were told they “should now self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution” in a letter sent out to parents.


The letter explained that other family members in the household would not have to self-isolate “provided your child does not develop symptoms”.

Headteacher Michelle Pollard told The Independent she had made the decision and provided the advice to parents after consulting Public Health England.

“As headteacher, I am disappointed for our families that we have had to take these measures at a time when some normality was returning for our children,” said Ms Pollard.

“However, I have a duty to mitigate any known risk, however low, to our children or our staff. Although the positive Covid-19 test was not a member of school staff, we have to put our children’s safety first and minimise the possibility of a local outbreak in our community.”

Members of teaching staff who had meals in the school canteen were also told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Ms Pollard added that “this case appears to be isolated… There have been no further reported cases amongst the catering staff, teaching staff or our children”.

The closure comes only two weeks after primary schools reopened to some Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils as part of government plans for a phased return to normality.

On Wednesday union leaders warned that all schools may not be able to fully reopen in September under the government’s current social distancing rules.

Official guidance says primary school class sizes must be limited to 15 pupils per teacher to prevent the spread of the virus, as young children cannot be expected to remain two metres apart at all times.

Tory MPs clashed with leaders of four major teaching unions on Wednesday during a virtual hearing of the Commons’ education committee over what Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis called as a “campaign” to prevent schools from reopening.


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