Students and a staff member at Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School in Ramsgate have self-isolated as a coronavirus (Covid-19) precaution.
In a message to parents the school said a family member of one of the students has been diagnosed with the virus. The student will self-isolate for 14 days. A member of staff who also had contact with the affected person has taken the same measures.
The school also said: “A small number of students are self-isolating as a precautionary measure due to contact with family or friends who have visited from the affected regions in Northern Italy.”
Head teacher Debra Liddicoat said: “No students have been diagnosed with Coronavirus and therefore we will continue to follow the PHE guidance.”
There are currently six confirmed coronavirus cases from Kent and Medway. Nationally, as of 9am today (March 9), 24,960 people have been tested, of which 24,641 were confirmed negative and 319 were confirmed as positive. Three patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
Kent County Council is working in close partnership with all organisations to ensure health and social care systems are prepared for further increases in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
KCC is ensuring that schools, children’s centres, libraries and other public community settings including early years, are also being regularly reminded of the national guidelines.
Some schools have taken the decision to self-isolate pupils or teachers, even if they are not showing symptoms, as a precaution but this is a matter for the headteacher.
Director of Public Health for Kent Andrew Scott-Clark says: “The work Kent County Council has been carrying out with Public Health colleagues and Kent Resilience partners means we have very well-developed plans in place to deal with whatever comes next.
“I firmly believe that we should be calm and proportionate in our response. I am asking all Kent residents to keep washing their hands, be aware of personal hygiene and think carefully about the things you can do to minimise the spread, such as catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and then disposing of those tissues.
“This is the best thing we can all do to slow the spread of the virus.
“We anticipate an increase in numbers which is why our services have planned for, and are ready, for this situation.
“I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and that we continue to work with health colleagues and partners to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Kent are protected.”
Last month cases of novel coronavirus were investigated by the East Kent Hospitals Trust with admissions understood to include one initially at QEQM Hospital in Margate.
A sports coach at Ramsgate’s St Lawrence College also self-isolated as a precaution after spending a short amount of time at Singapore airport during a return trip from Australia.
National updates are published daily at 2pm at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public