As reported previously, a group of students visited northern Italy for a ski trip over half term, and have returned to school at the start of this week.
Today (Friday), head teacher James Lascelles said that the school will continue to ‘calmly assess the situation and the risk factors’ to the school and the local community, on the basis of the scientific advice received from the Chief Medical Officer for the UK (Prof Christopher Witty) and the wider scientific community.
Mr Lascelles said: “Seven days after our ski party departed from Italy, the school still has no cases of the coronavirus.
“We continue to monitor and where necessary liaise with the parents’ of students from the trip to ensure that they are being vigilant.
“We have also decided to adopt a belt and braces approach and have added to our list all of those students who have been on ski holidays with parents or friends to the ski resorts clustered around Italy, Austria and Switzerland; others who have visited northern Italy on holiday or business during half term and those students, parents and staff who are returning from long haul flights from the Asia Pacific region; Australia via Hong Kong and or Singapore; China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. We are doing this to ensure that those parents and their children are also vigilant in following Professor Christopher Witty’s advice.
“Our numbers suggest that we have the same number of people in this group as those that went on the ski trip.
“In total, we estimate that at least 10 per cent of the school’s population has visited an international destination over half term that is subject to Professor Witty’s advice. Talking to other colleagues, this is a similar picture in many schools and also reflects modern day travel patterns.”
Mr Lascelles added: “It is perhaps worth noting that, during the same period that the coronavirus has hit the media, over 75,000 people worldwide have died from seasonal flu, and approximately 730+ people, globally, per day will continue to do so through the flu season.
“We will of course continue to monitor and follow the scientific advice that we are given by Professor Christopher Witty, the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer; including any direct instruction by him or the government to close the school.
“Finally, in anticipation of the evolving nature of COVID-19, we have focused our efforts on educating our community about the known scientific facts about the virus and also on the scientifically recommended precautions that we should all take to prevent the spread of any virus.”
• Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance for the latest official advice and information relating to the coronavirus.