Billericay School bosses up hygiene efforts as Coronavirus fears increase

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Article by Poppie Webster: A school has upped its hygiene measures after students returned from a ski trip in northern Italy.

Parts of the northern area of the country have been in lockdown after an outbreak of Coronavirus.

Pupils from The Billericay School, on School Road, Billericay, hit the slopes of Bormio for their school ski trip over the February half term.

But since their return, and the news that the virus had broken out in 11 towns across northern Italy, the school have asked pupils to adopt heightened hygiene measures as a precaution.

In a letter to parents, head Mr Ahson Mohammed said:

“I can confirm that Bormio is not on the list of 11 towns that are currently in lock down in the north of Italy. We are following guidance from Public Health England that recommends self monitoring by students who have participated in the ski trip, and that any student who displays any unusual symptoms that are consistent with the virus should seek medical advice through the appropriate medical authorities, by calling 111. All students and adults within the school should adopt heightened precautionary hygiene measures such as regular and thorough washing of hands. This is to ensure the school is protected as much as practically possible without disturbing the education of pupils and without generating unnecessary concerns.”

Mr Mohammed added:

“It’s important during these times to remain calm and measured and be mindful that people are often prone to coughs and colds during this time of year. It’s important not to jump to unnecessary conclusions. Should advice and guidance related to Bormio change, we will update you again accordingly. It clarifies that if staff or a pupil is suspected of having the virus, the school doesn’t need to close, that there should be no restrictions whilst laboratory tests for Coronavirus are being carried out, and that there is no need to send other children or staff home. PHE has also clarified that ‘until the outcome of test results are known, there is no action that staff members need to take’. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the school.”

Sweyne Park School in Rayleigh is also taking precautions following the outbreak and a planned trip to Rome is being “carefully considered”.

Headteacher Katharine Dines said:

“As you can imagine we have had a number of parents contact us about school trips. We have been monitoring and following the advice given out by PHE and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which has been very clear. This has applied to our ski trip that has returned from Austria and the upcoming RE trip to Rome, which we are carefully considering.”

Article by Poppie Webster, The Braintree and Witham Times

Further information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response