A SECOND school in Herefordshire has been forced to close due to rising numbers of Covid cases.

Eardisley Primary School, near Kington, shut early for half-term due to children and staff testing positive for the virus.

Herefordshire Council said that the decision was taken to close a day early after consultation between itself, public health and the school.

The early closure meant children and staff could have a full 10-day break to act a "firebreak" closure to stop Covid spreading.

"The school has taken the decision to close one day early for half term due to the combination of positive cases amongst both staff and pupils," Herefordshire Council said.

"This was done after consultation with the local authority and public health.

"The one day closure also allows for pupils to have a 10 day break following any positive tests before opening as normal after the half term break."

The news comes a week after Lady Hawkins' School, the secondary school in nearby Kington, said it would also close on Friday, October 22, to allow for a 10-day closure.

The school was aware of rising Covid cases and had tried a number of measures to combat the spread.

But headteacher Paul Jennings said that despite the reintroduction of face masks in lessons, increased cleaning routines and regular lateral flow testing, the school would need to close a day early for half term.

"We have taken the decision to close for half term on Thursday, October 22, which is only a day early, but allows everyone 10 full days away from school, to act as a ‘firebreak’ in transmission," he said.

The Government's heatmap of coronavirus cases in Herefordshire shows the Kington area as having one of the highest infection rates in the county.

Kington, Eardisley and Staunton recorded 48 cases in the seven days to October 16, giving it an infection rate of 580.1 cases per 100,000 people.

The area recorded 28 more positive Covid tests during that period, compared to the week before.