A Brighton family is being tested for coronavirus and is self isolating after feeling unwell.
Parents at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) were informed that one of the family, a sixth former, was off school yesterday.
It said they had asked the students close friends to also go home and seek advice on whether they needed to be tested and self-isolate.
However, all other pupils were told they should still come to school.
The email said: “You will be well aware of the Coronavirus and the government advice concerning it. Today we have been informed that a sixth former at BACA College and their family have been advised by the medical authorities to self-isolate as a precaution having reported feeling unwell.
“They are not a confirmed case, but as a precaution we have asked a number of sixth formers in the student’s close friendship group to go home and contact 111 to seek advice as to whether they should self-isolate too.
“Like all schools we are working closely with the authorities and adhering to Public Health England and Department for Education advice for schools and colleges.
“Brighton and Hove City Council’s current clear advice is that schools should remain open and parents should ensure their children attend school unless they’re unwell or have been advised to self-isolate.
“We will continue to keep parents updated with any advice passed on to us.”
National news organisations are today predicting the UK will move from the containment to the delay stage in dealing with the outbreak.
According to the government’s coronavirus action plan published in early March, during the delay phase: “Action that would be considered could include population distancing strategies (such as school closures, encouraging greater home working, reducing the number of large-scale gatherings) to slow the spread of the disease throughout the population, while ensuring the country’s ability to continue to run as normally as possible.
“The UK governments’ education departments’ planning assumptions include the possibility of having to close educational settings in order to reduce the spread of infection.
“We would consider such measures in order to protect vulnerable individuals with underlying illnesses and thus at greater more at risk of becoming seriously affected by the disease. The effectiveness of these actions will need to be balanced against their impact on society.”
Earlier this week, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said it was likely the government would this week start asking anyone with respiratory symptoms – e.g. a cough or sneezing – to self-isolate for seven days.
However, there is no indication that schools will be told to close in the coming days.
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