A pupil at Portslade Academy has been put into isolation after coming into contact with the local father who is sick with coronavirus.
Parents were emailed yesterday to tell them the child is not showing any symptoms, but had been advised by Public Health England to self-isolate” for two weeks.
It’s not known if the pupil is a child of the sick man, but they have been given this advice as part of the investigation into the confirmed case.
On Thursday, Hove MP Peter Kyle said the man’s family had self-isolated “in a more secluded place” as a precaution.
The father, a Hove businessman, is thought to have contracted the virus abroad, reportedly at a conference in Singapore.
Head Mark Poston wrote to parents: “As I am sure many of you are aware, media outlets reported on Thursday of a first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Brighton.
“We are working in collaboration with and being guided by the local authority and Public Health England to ensure that we at PACA are acting consistently with the right medical advice.
“Today we have been contacted by a parent of a student at PACA who was contacted by Public Health England as part of their investigation concerning the confirmed case that was reported in the press yesterday.
“We have been informed by the parent that they have been advised by Public Health England to self-isolate their child at home for 14 days.
“If at any point the child is found to be symptomatic we will be notified.
“The local authority have confirmed to us that Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close.
“Public Health England are leading on control measures and they will be contacting people who may be affected using their established systems for similar situations.
“We will continue to keep parents updated with any advice that is passed to us.”
Yesterday, other Brighton and Hove schools sent messages to parents with general advice about coronavirus.
One message read: “You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching coronavirus. There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend school as normal.
“Symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing, sneezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
“Practising good hand hygiene can help to slow the spread of the virus and protect people from getting infected.”
Council leader Nancy Platts published an open letter about the confirmed case in the city: “The news is unsettling and I understand many will be feeling worried. It’s important that we remain level headed about the virus and that you know the amount of work being done to keep everyone safe.
“Over the last 24 hours, while we have been waiting for the official announcement, we’ve been working flat out with Public Health England and partners to contain the situation, using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus.
“I’ve spoken to people from Asian communities about concerns around the origin of the virus being in China and how this could impact negatively on their community and businesses. I want to reassure our international communities that you’re a welcome and valued part of our city’s rich fabric. Brighton & Hove has long prided itself on being a fair and inclusive place to live, work and visit, for people across Britain and beyond.
“We will never accept discrimination in any form against one community or another.
“I know you will want to look after your own health and wellbeing, and the health of people you care about. That’s what I want as well.
“We’re asking everyone to take simple, common-sense steps to prevent the spread of illnesses. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water and using tissues can help reduce the spread of infection.
“In Brighton and Hove we have dedicated health professionals in the council and the NHS working to safeguard our city. I want to thank all these teams who are ensuring that our city remains open for people across the world to live, work, study and visit, and offer my best wishes to the affected family.”
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