Pupils at school in Wellingborough told to wear masks again after high number of Covid cases found

Masks will have be worn by pupils and staff in lessons and communal areas

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:19 pm

Health protection officers have visited a Wellingborough school after their high number of Covid-19 cases triggered a review of measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

Wrenn School has been under scrutiny with procedures to assess current protocols including risk assessments, flow around the site and cleaning routines being checked.

And the school has now decided to temporarily re-introduce face coverings, just days after the Government announced they were no longer required.

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Wrenn School's Doddington Road site

It has not been confirmed that the school's cases include the Indian 'variant of concern' although the number of cases has been high.

In a letter to parents and carers Hannah Jones assistant principal said: "Whilst we have not had confirmation that we have a 'variant of concern', it is clear that we are having a high number of cases.

"You are aware that our Covid-19 cases in school are high. This week we were visited by two health protection officers from the local infections team. This visit involved a range of checking procedures such as, walking around the site, looking in classrooms, visiting the canteen, checking PPE such as sanitiser and cleaning equipment, -reading risk assessments and checking processes such as close contact identification."

Ms Jones said that feedback had been 'very positive' and the health protection officers were 'satisfied' that the school was doing 'all the right things' to try to protect children and families from Covid-19.

Wrenn School's London Road campus

A majority of the cases have been asymptomatic and have been detected through the home lateral flow testing.

The protection officers have asked the school to introduce several measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.

These include:

- leaving classroom doors open during breaks and lunchtimes to allow the rooms to be ventilated

- exploring ways of keeping all corridor doors open that link with fire bells

- staggering the release of classes at break and lunchtimes to avoid over crowding in corridors

- asking parents to ensure their children are following Government guidance on mixing outside of school

- reminding parents to keep their children at home if anyone in the household has covid-19 symptoms and if anyone in the household is awaiting results of a PCR test.

Ms Jones added: "Please send your child to school with a plain face mask which should be worn in school (lessons and indoor communal areas). We understand that this reintroduction will cause some of you distress, however we must do all we can to protect our staff and students (and families) and we would really like your support.

"I would like to thank you for all the support you are giving the school in this challenging time. Let's hope that we start to see a reduction in cases very soon."

A Public Health Northamptonshire spokesperson said: “We are aware of positive cases of Covid-19 at Wrenn School, Wellingborough.

"Initial cases were found through routine twice weekly Lateral Flow Testing and confirmed through PCR testing. The individuals who have tested positive have been advised to self-isolate, as well as those identified as their contacts.

“We have not been made aware of any VOC B1.617.2 within the school community by Public Health England.

“We are working closely to support the school, working with Public Health England, our environmental health colleagues in the unitary authority and Health & Safety Executive team as we usually would, to ensure that measures are in place to prevent further virus spread.

“The school is working hard to monitor and contain the situation, putting advice given into practice, and is keeping parents and guardians informed of any developments.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank the school, pupils, and their parents and guardians who continue to undertake and report the results of the twice weekly tests. This is so important in helping to identify cases in the school quickly and act to stop further spread. The end result being that the majority of our the Wrenn school pupils can continue their learning in the physical school environment.”