Coronavirus cases confirmed in eight Norfolk schools - but no outbreaks

PUBLISHED: 18:31 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:37 23 September 2020

Wymondham High Academy is among schools which has had a positive coronavirus case. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Wymondham High Academy is among schools which has had a positive coronavirus case. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

Positive coronavirus cases have been confirmed in eight Norfolk schools, council bosses have said, but none of them are classed as outbreaks.

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella WilkinsonLouise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

An outbreak is defined as when there are two or more linked cases - as was the case with the Banham Poultry outbreak recently.

But Norfolk County Council said where there had been cases in schools, there had not been that level of linked transmission, so none were classed as outbreaks.

However, there have been a number of schools where, as precautionary measures, entire year groups or bubbles are having to self-isolate because children or teaching staff have tested positive.

The council has not released details of the schools. But previously reported examples of where children have been told to self-isolate because of a positive case include Arden Grove Infant School and Nursery, in Hellesdon, Wymondham High School Academy and East Coast College in Great Yarmouth.

The council provided the figures in response to a question at Monday’s full council meeting by Labour county councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton.

But it was unable to provide figures of how many teachers and pupils were having to self-isolate.

A council spokesman said: “Norfolk’s public health team is working with colleagues from the county council’s learning and inclusion team and Public Health England to ensure early years settings, schools, and academies have the advice and support they need to manage any incidents where children, young people and members of staff display symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the disease to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Education settings are working hard to ensure that they are meeting the guidelines around infection prevention at the same time as supporting children’s learning and well-being.”

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health at the council, recently said children should stay at home and get tested if they had a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to smell or taste.

If children did not have those symptoms and felt well, then they could attend school, she said. The only exception was when they were isolating because someone else in their household had tested positive - or they had been given advice from NHS Test and Trace that they were a close contact of a case or should self-isolate for 14 days.

However, parents have complained about problems in getting tests, while there have been delays in the test results coming back.

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