Coronavirus contact confirmed by primary school on West Sussex border

A primary school on the border of West Sussex and Surrey has confirmed that 'one of its families' have been in contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 10:54 am

In a notice to parents, Camelsdale Primary School, in Haslemere, said it is 'taking the situation seriously' but will remain open as normal.

It comes as a joint statement by West Sussex and Surrey county councils last night (Sunday, March 1), revealed that three people - one from Surrey and two from West Sussex - were confirmed as close contacts of a man from Surrey, who was the first to have tested positive for coronavirus within the UK. Read more hereHeadteacher Sarah Palmer said there was 'no need to cause undue alarm'.

She added: "I have been in contact with the self-quarantining family and they remain well. Over the weekend, we have liaised with West Sussex County Council.

Camelsdale Primary School headteacher Sarah Palmer said there was 'noneed to cause undue alarm'. Photo: Google Street View

"As ever, the health and safety of our children and staff remain a top priority. The threat still remains low. It is important for the children that we remain calm and sensible.

"It is important that we work together as a school community to manage the situation."

Ms Palmer said the school was notified of the case on Friday afternoon (February 28).

"As we finish for the weekend, I write to inform you that at the end of the day we were notified by one of our families in the Pandas that they have been in contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus," she said,

"The family met with friends on February 23, who have today been diagnosed as having Coronavirus. The family have been informed by Public Health England that they need to self-quarantine until Friday, March 6. The friends of the family were ill for two days. Our family is still well."

Ms Palmer said it has been given advice by the Department For Education and the county council and 'does not need to close the school or have it especially cleaned'.

She said: "Contacts (our family) are not considered cases if they are well. They are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others.

"Everyone should continue to be vigilant with hand washing and sneezing."

There are a 'number of measures' the school will be taking as from today (Monday, March 2).

The notice continued: "We will use assembly time and class time to reinforce the importance of washing our hands and sneezing into our elbows/ a tissue to catch our sneezes and avoid touching our eyes nose and mouth with unwashed hands. There is some good learning for life to be had here.

"We will have sanitising gel around the school for children and staff to use.

"We will make sure our handwashing posters are up and around the school more visibly .

"We will expect visitors to the school to use the sanitiser at reception before entry to school.

"The school is cleaned on a daily basis and we will ask the cleaning team to be extra thorough."

Ms Palmer said the school will 'keep in close contact with the family concerned' for any updates over the week, 'which we will communicate with you as necessary'.

"Parents’ evenings will continue as normal. Should the situation change, Public Health England and West Sussex County Council will be working closely with the school and we will inform you of any next steps then. Remember , if you have any direct medical concerns, to contact NHS 111."