School closes after five teachers test positive for COVID 19

A secondary school has been forced to close after five of its teachers have tested positive for coronavirus.

The school closed as a "precautionary measure" on Monday on the advice of Public Health England.

Two other members of staff at the Samuel Ward Academy, which is in Haverhill, Suffolk, are waiting to hear their coronavirus test results.

The school said in a statement the closure was a "precautionary measure" and it hoped to reopen on Tuesday.

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Headteacher Andy Hunter said: "The safety of pupils and all those who work at the school is my biggest priority.

"Obviously this is a huge disappointment after working so hard to get the school back up and running.

"I will be looking closely at the systems we put in place to try to understand how the transmission occurred and to make sure we do everything possible to limit the chances of the same thing happening again.

"I am very disappointed by this disrupted start to the school term.

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"We have taken very extensive precautions.

"We were delighted that term had started so well last week and were looking forward to the final two year groups starting (on Monday).

"But I have had excellent support from Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk and Suffolk County Council.

"We are determined to do all we can to stop the further spread of the virus and agree with the precautionary action to close the school (on Monday)."

A deep clean is to take place at the school.

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Anyone who has been in close contact with infected staff has been contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days, the school said.

Further contact tracing will continue and additional pupils and staff may be asked to self-isolate.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health at Suffolk County Council, said: "Understandably, this news may worry parents across Suffolk, but it is important to remember that the risk of children contracting Covid-19 is still very small.

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"Evidence suggests that children are more likely to contract Covid-19 at home."

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