MORE children in Herefordshire are self-isolating after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

In a letter to parents, John Kyrle High School said they had had been advised by Public Health England that a student had tested positive for Covid-19.

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The Ross-on-Wye school said the small number of students that had been in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

"We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England," the school said.

In a further letter sent home on September 29, headteacher Nigel Griffiths said: "The positive test result was delivered to a Year 13 student yesterday afternoon. The student did not have any coronavirus symptoms and had been asked to take a home test randomly as part of a national trial.   

"Once we were aware of the result, we followed the national and local protocols.  We informed the Department for Education, the local authority and our independent health and safety consultant. The clear advice was to identify, as best we could, anyone who had been in contact with the individual concerned. This includes close contact, within one metre, and proximity contact, within two metres for 15 minutes. We also had to investigate whether anyone travelled to school with the student in a small vehicle.  

"We spoke to the student and their teaching staff directly to help us identify those who may have fallen within these categories, and the relevant head of year was involved throughout. We emailed those families whose children met the contact criteria.  This was with a letter asking them to self-isolate, and these students will be supported in their learning via Show My Homework.  We then emailed all parents and carers with the general letter to inform everyone that a student had tested positive." 

The school said it has been mindful of the local and national guidance, and the outbreak control hub for Herefordshire had been contacted and agreed with the course of action. 
"The guidance and advice were clear. Only those who had been in direct contact, proximity contact or in a small vehicle need to self-isolate," Mr Griffiths said.

"There is no need for anyone outside the close and proximity contacts of the student concerned to self-isolate. While we understand that some families may be concerned, unless told directly by us, all other students should attend school as normal. 

"At school there is limited mixing between “bubbles”, pupil movement is kept to a minimum and those who may be at most risk have been identified and are self-isolating. The area in which the student is taught has been thoroughly cleaned.

"We have made some minor adjustments to our protocols because of the learning we have undergone from this.  For example, the standard DfE letter does not identify the year group of the student and this led to confusion for those families with more than one child at school. We will rectify this in any future incident of this kind."