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School closes after pupil tests positive for coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:53 24 March 2020

Principal Tasmin Poulter said a pupil at Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston had tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Kate Fuller/James Bass

Principal Tasmin Poulter said a pupil at Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston had tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Kate Fuller/James Bass

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A school has closed to all pupils and staff after confirming that a student had tested positive for coronavirus.

Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston was closed on Tuesday, including to vulnerable pupils or whose parents are key workers, whilst it undergoes a deep clean.

In total 67 schools across Norfolk were either totally or partially closed, up from 56 that were similarly affected on Monday.

In a letter to parents Cliff Park Ormiston Academy said the academy would be completely closed to all students and staff in order for a deep clean to be initiated.

Principal Tasmin Poulter said: “This is a precautionary measure we are taking, after earlier being informed that a student, who has not been on the school site for almost two weeks, has tested positive for Covid-19.

“We are of course taking this extremely seriously and have acted immediately, liaising closely with Public Health England and the relevant authorities to undertake the necessary action.

“I want to assure you that the deep clean, and the temporary full school closure, are precautionary measures.”

Cliff Park Ormiston Academy Cliff Park principal Tamsin Poulter said the school was closed for a deep clean. Picture: Karen FullerCliff Park Ormiston Academy Cliff Park principal Tamsin Poulter said the school was closed for a deep clean. Picture: Karen Fuller

The school said vulnerable and key worker children were instead being taught at nearby Ormiston Venture Academy and that it planned to reopen on Wednesday, March 25.

MORE: Coronavirus lockdown - what will be open and closed following unprecedented government measure?

Also closed for a deep clean is Holly Meadows School at Pott Row, near King’s Lynn, due to a staff member having “close contact” with Covid-19, and Parkside School and Pathways College in Norwich for a deep clean of the main site.

Meanwhile Banham Primary School in south Norfolk has written to parents after a family confirmed they had tested positive for Covid-19.

Banham Primary School where the head has moved to reassure parents after a family tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: JThomas/GeographBanham Primary School where the head has moved to reassure parents after a family tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: JThomas/Geograph

Headteacher Matthew Gamble said: “I would like to reassure all parents and staff that the family have not been in school since Tuesday, March 17. The school has continued to have been cleaned daily as per the Department of Health guidelines, all hard surfaces cleaned with sanitiser, and that the virus can only exist for 72 hours.

“I realise this may concern everyone and would like to remind you that if you are concerned then please follow government advice regarding hygiene, social distancing and to self-isolate.”

MORE: ‘It’s a bit quiet and eerie’ - The first day of very different school lessons

Schools have reported far fewer children attending than expected, with many having less than 10pc in class and some teaching just a handful.

At Taverham High School, which has 1,188 pupils on its roll, just 10 were in school on Tuesday.

Some smaller rural schools have joined forces and are sharing teachers.

Pupils at Hickling Infant School are now attending Catfield Primary; provision for Gillingham St Michael’s Primary Academy pupils is at Ditchingham Primary; while children at Aslacton Primary can transfer to Manor Field Infants.

Carol Dallas headteacher of Taverham High School where just 10 key worker pupils attended on March 24 out of a total school roll of 1,188. Picture: Antony KellyCarol Dallas headteacher of Taverham High School where just 10 key worker pupils attended on March 24 out of a total school roll of 1,188. Picture: Antony Kelly

- The full list of schools closed or particularly affected is at the Norfolk County Council site.

- For updates on how coronavirus is affecting Norfolk, please visit our Facebook page here

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