Children will be sent home from school “daily, if not weekly” with symptoms of coronavirus, according to Hammersmith and Fulham council education chief


By Julia Gregory, journalist for local democracyIt is likely to become normal to have a handful of students sent home after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to the education officer at a west London council.

Jan Parnell said a Grade 10 child and three elementary school students recently tested positive at schools in Hammersmith and Fulham.

This means that their bubbles – or small groups of students – also had to stay home in quarantine.

And she said, “We’ve only had a number of outbreaks. There is only one person who has tested positive.

“This happened in one of our high schools over the last week, only a 10 year old, and we have also now had three primary with only one primary child testing positive.

“It’s going to be something that happens daily, if not once a week and our schools have been absolutely great working with us to try to contain this.

She told the council’s children’s policy and responsibility committee on Tuesday: “We want all of our schools to stay open and work in bubbles. These are individual cases and we are taking precautions. ”

All schools are now open in Hammersmith and Fulham, after one school – Cambridge Road – partially opened to create more space which was provided by its neighbor Phoenix Academy.

She said school principals had received 292 guidance documents from the government since the pandemic began in March and the board had helped them interpret the guidance.

And five primary schools – Avonmore, Normand Croft, St Mary’s, Addison and Melcombe – participated in Public Health England’s KIDS test project.

Students and staff underwent swab and antibody tests at the start and end of the summer term, with another test scheduled for October. They have all had negative results so far.

The council’s director of public health, Dr Nicola Lang, explained that the schools were recruited quickly and chosen because they had large numbers of BAME students to help scientists better understand the virus.

A total of 138 schools in England are involved in the study and 89 are undergoing weekly swab tests.

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