Sheffield school defends decision not to close ‘bubble’ after positive Covid test

A Sheffield school has defended its decision not to close one of its ‘bubbles’ after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

By Dan Hayes
Friday, 25th September 2020, 2:44 pm

Parkwood E-Act Academy on Longley Avenue West in Shirecliffe confirmed this week that a pupil at the school had tested positive for Covid-19.

The student is now isolating for 14 days, but, after consulting with Public Health England, academy management informed parents that no further children needed to stay off school.

Concerns were raised by some parents at the school who questioned why other pupils in the affected student’s bubble were not also asked to isolate after the positive test.

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Parkwood E-Act Academy in Shirecliffe.

However, while other Sheffield schools have closed entire ‘bubbles’ when pupils have tested positive for coronavirus, the academy said the advice from Public Health England did not recommend it in this case.

An academy spokesperson said: “The academy has been made aware that a student has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 and is now self-isolating for a period of 10 days. We wish our student a swift recovery, and we remain open to all other students and staff.

“We have been working closely with Public Health England who are satisfied that as our safety measures are comprehensive and completely in line with their recommendations, no further action is required.

“We will continue to closely follow the guidance issued to us by Public Health England to ensure the safety of our students and staff, including strict adherence to social distancing at all times and the arrangement of students and staff into bubbles to limit their contact with others in the academy.

“The health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our number one priority, and we continue to take every precaution to ensure their safety.”

When a case of Covid-19 is confirmed at a school, the person with the virus must be immediately sent home to isolate.

The school then must contact the government’s coronavirus advice unit for guidance on whether any other pupils also need to isolate.

Since schools reopened in early September, almost 50 in South Yorkshire have had confirmed cases and sent pupils home to isolate.

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