St Mary’s Independent School in Bitterne Park has been evacuated and some pupils are in isolation as a result of fears over the coronavirus, although it has not been confirmed that any of the students have the virus.
Students at the school who had recently returned from China were found to be presenting symptoms similar to the coronavirus, resulting in the school being put in lockdown. The school will be closed for three days while a ‘thorough deep clean’ is carried out.
Public Health England are monitoring the situation.
Headteacher Claire Charlemagne, in a statement sent to parents, said:
I am sorry to inform you that a family with children at the prep and senior departments who have recently travelled to the region affected by coronavirus have developed symptoms similar to those presenting with the coronavirus, and having been checked by medical professionals at Southampton General Hospital have been placed in isolation [outside the hospital].
As a school, our first priority is to keep our children and community safe.
We have taken advice on this situation from Public Health England and the Natural Health Service.
We have been advised that we need to take all steps reasonably practicable to prevent the spread of this virus.
We have therefore taken the decision to close the school immediately in order to undertake a thorough deep clean, and to allow any potential traces of the virus to be removed.
We will close Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Health Secretary Mark Hancock posted on twitter that ‘clinical advice has not changed about the risk to the public, which remains moderate’.
Clinical advice has not changed about the risk to the public, which remains moderate. We are taking a belt and braces approach to all necessary precautions to ensure public safety. (2/2)https://t.co/gE7YIofjl7
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) February 10, 2020
As of 2pm on 10th February 2020, there were 8 confirmed cases in the UK.