HEREFORDSHIRE'S public health team has spoken out about coronavirus after two schools were forced to close.

Kingstone High School, near Hereford, and Almeley Primary School, near Kington, closed due to the pressures caused by Covid-19 on staffing, Herefordshire Council said.

A spokesperson said that face-to-face teaching could not be given for some groups of pupils because of the pressures.

The council's public health team said both schools were planning to reopen on Monday, October 4 as normal, but online learning would be offered to students "where possible" during the interim.

The public health team said it was working closely with the schools and "swift action" was taken to find cases and close contacts to reduce the risk of transmission.

But it warned parents to stay vigilant and not send children to school if they have coronavirus symptoms.


"Rates of Covid-19 are high in Herefordshire," the spokesperson said, with Government figures showing an infection rate of 331.6 cases per 100,000 people in Herefordshire for the seven days to September 18.

That was up from 325.4 cases per 100,000 in the previous seven-day period, and is likely to rise again.

"We encourage everyone to take steps to prevent the spread, including regular testing using rapid lateral flow tests (LFD) for people who don’t have symptoms, face coverings in crowded areas and keeping socially distanced," they added.

"It is vitally important for people to stay vigilant for signs and symptoms of Covid-19."

Addressing parents, Herefordshire Council said children should not be sent to school if they are unwell and have Covid symptoms, such as a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of smell or taste.

They should stay at home and call 119 or go online to book a PCR test.


Children should not go to school while waiting for test results, and other members of the household could also have to self-isolate, unless exempt.

"If your child (or anyone in your family) tests positive for Covid-19, it is important to respond to NHS Test and Trace and provide details of close contacts," they said.

"This will enable those that are required to self-isolate to do so quickly, and close contacts who are not required to self-isolate to be informed and asked to get a PCR test as soon as possible."

Kingstone High School said its "firebreak" closure was due to a "high and rising" number of coronavirus cases.