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Devon school pupil tests positive for coronavirus

Devon school pupil tests positive for coronavirus

Published by Emma Carton at 7:42am 3rd March 2020. (Updated at 8:18am 3rd March 2020)

A school in Devon confirms a student has tested positive for coronavirus.

The pupil from Churston Ferrers Grammar had travelled to northern Italy.

Staff say they are getting support and advice from health officials.

It is the second case in the county, with the other a resident from South Devon.

That takes the total number of confirmed cases across the UK to 39.

Scroll down to watch the Prime Minister's full statement on the outbreak and what we can expect from his 'battle plan'.

What does the school say?

On Monday, Sky News received the following email that was sent to parents and carers:

Dear Parents and Carers,

I can confirm that a student at the school has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently getting all necessary support and advice from health services. 

Whilst I fully understand this will cause anxiety amongst the school community, I can assure you all necessary steps are being taken to minimise risk to others. 

The school are making arrangements for a deep clean with advice from Public Health England and will need to close to carry this out. 

All people who have had contact with the person are being identified and will be contacted to advise whether they need to exclude themselves from school and any other action which may be required.  

PHE will advise whether any tests are required for contacts who report symptoms. 

The best thing we can all do is to make sure we follow the public health advice which is to: 

Catch coughs and sneezes with a tissue, dispose of the tissue in a bin immediately and then wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. 
Wash your hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) frequently and especially on arrival and before leaving home or any childcare or educational setting, before cooking and eating, after using the toilet, and after breaks or sporting activitites.  

We will update you when we have further information to give but the school will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday). 

You can keep up to date with national advice and Information regarding coronavirus by visiting the NHS website.

Please respect the privacy of the students and don’t speculate who the student might be on social media. 

Yours sincerely,

Kieran Earley, Headteacher

What action is the government taking?

News of the Devon student testing positive comes as Boris Johnson prepares to reveal his six-point plan to tackle COVID-19.

Emergency measures in the PM's battle plan include a Cabinet Office 'war room', more home working and curbs on travel, bringing NHS staff out of retirement and bigger class sizes in schools.

"It is highly likely coronavirus will spread more widely in the coming days and weeks, which is why we're making every possible preparation," the prime minister said ahead of his announcement.

"We have agreed a plan, which I will set out in detail, so if the virus should spread, we are ready to take necessary steps to contain it and protect the most vulnerable.

"But we can all continue to do our bit to fight this virus - by washing our hands with soap and water for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice".

Boris Johnson

You watch the Prime Minister's full statement following Monday's COBRA meeting below...

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