THREE children have tested positive for coronavirus at a Herefordshire nursery.

The children all attend Oak House Nursery near Ross-on-Wye, and work has been undertaken to identify all close contacts, Public Health England has said.

Karen Wright, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said: “There have been three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oak House Nursery. At this time we have no reason to believe that transmission occurred within the nursery setting. We would like to reassure parents, carers and the local community that we are working closely with the nursery and swift action has been taken to identify close contacts.

 “Those who have been identified as close contacts from the kindergarden and babies rooms and they have been sent home to self-isolate.  The nursery continues to operate as normal for the remaining children.

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 “The nursery contacted the council to inform us as soon as they were aware and have been working fully with the Public Health Team. We understand parents will be concerned but we can expect to see more cases in nurseries and the process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’.

"Parents are reminded not to send your child to nursery if they are unwell and have any of the identified Covid-19 symptoms or they live in a household with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive in the past 14 days.

“To protect yourself and others, please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and use face coverings in public spaces, shops and on public transport. Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test.”  

Rachel Marshall, Executive Headteacher for the nursery said "We are extremely grateful for the messages of support we have received from our families who have been kept up to date with developments and would like to reassure all our parents that we have been complimented on our robust procedures.  We shall of course continue to ensure to follow all the guidance provided, and thank Public Health for their support at this time."

Dr Lennane local GP at Alton surgery said: “Even with appropriate precautions, we will get occasional clusters of cases. This is very localised and does not pose any extra risk to local residents. The nursery is working very closely with public health to trace any potential contacts, who have been notified”