A SECONDARY school in north Herefordshire has been forced to partially close after the headteacher warned "coronavirus is back".

Wigmore High School, which has around 450 pupils, was partially closed on Friday (July 8) as three year groups were told to stay at home where they would have to carry out remote learning.

A message on the school's website said the closure was due to "significant staff shortages".

Then, in a letter to parents, executive headteacher Dr Rob Patterson said: "Coronavirus is back and this evening (Thursday) we have reached a position where we are unable to function as we normally would."

Years seven, eight and nine were told to stay home and work remotely, while a year 10 trip to Ludlow went ahead as normal.

Wigmore Primary School, where Dr Patterson is also executive headteacher was open as normal on Friday, but parents were told to provide a packed lunch for the children.

It comes as Covid-19 infections in the UK jumped by more than half a million in a week, with the rise likely to be driven by the latest Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, figures show.

Hospital numbers are also continuing to increase, with early signs of a rise in intensive care admissions among older age groups.

A total of 2.3 million people in private households are estimated to have had the virus last week, up 32 per cent from a week earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest estimate for total infections since late April, but is still some way below the record high of 4.9 million seen at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave at the end of March.