THE number of coronavirus cases at a secondary school near Leominster is continuing to rise, the headteacher has warned.

The further rise in cases meant more new rules have been introduced at Wigmore High School, north of Leominster, less than a week after year seven and year eight pupils were told to wear face coverings in lessons.

All students had to wear masks in communal areas, the school said last week, but has now told years nine and 10 to do so in lessons.

In his latest update to parents, executive headteacher Dr Rob Patterson, who himself has caught coronavirus, said cases were continuing to "drift upwards" as parents submitted PCR test results for their children.

The extra measures come after different year groups at the school pass a threshold, set out by the Department of Education.


The threshold was defined as "10 per cent of children, pupils, students or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive for Covid-19 within a 10-day period", senior deputy headteacher Sarah Steer said.

"As a result of this, we have now passed the 10 per cent threshold in years nine and 10 also, meaning that from tomorrow all year nine and 10 students will be required to wear face coverings in lessons for 10 days, unless exempt," Dr Patterson said on Thursday (September 30).

"This is in addition to the measures set out by Mrs Steer on Monday (September 27).

"It is notable that Year 11 have significantly fewer cases than other year groups at present, which may be connected with the large number of cases in this year group last summer.

"It is also pleasing to see that Covid has still not taken hold at Wigmore Primary School.

The new rules unveiled by Mrs Steer including children needing to wear PE kits to school on the days they had PE, the suspension of clubs, fixtures and trips, and students being separated into year groups at lunch and break times.


Dr Patterson also warned the school was running low on lateral flow tests, the rapid coronavirus tests secondary school pupils are encouraged to take twice a week.

He said the school had placed two orders with the DfE, but added: "We are trying to source emergency supplies from the local authority, but if you are able to separately source packs from your local pharmacist, then that would help to alleviate the pinch point.

"Please do keep on testing at home, twice a week if possible, as this will help to keep the numbers of cases under control."

Latest figures, for Thursday (September 30), showed there were 543 confirmed cases at 54 schools in Herefordshire.

On top of that, there were 599 suspected cases.

It meant 1,142 pupils in Herefordshire were off school or college on Thursday due to coronavirus, 63 more than the previous Wednesday (September 22).

Then, there were 494 confirmed cases and 585 suspected.