Select pupils at the Southampton secondary school and sixth form have been told to self-isolate at home, after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, Bitterne Park School is the latest educational site in the city to have reported a case of coronavirus, following Upper Shirley High School and Harefield Primary School, along with 18 other schools in the greater Hampshire area last week. (This figure does not include independent schools within Hampshire.)
Headteacher Stewart Roderick issued a letter to all parents addressing the circumstances: “This morning we were made aware that a member of staff has tested positive for COVID-19, having last been in school on Monday 12th October 2020.”
“We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
“A small number of children who have been in close contact with the individual who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have received a letter informing them that they must stay at home for 14 days to self-isolate. This has also affected a small number of staff.”
“The school remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.”
Figures released over the weekend of October 17th-18th revealed that Hampshire has now exceeded 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19. Moreover, the number of schoolchildren with COVID-19 symptoms has been on a notable incline since the reopening of schools in September, with data from NHS England showing 812 cases of those aged 18 and under logged with possible COVID-19 symptoms in the NHS Southampton CCG area that month—10 times more than in August. This figure for the monthly total recorded for children is second only to that of March when the outbreak began, where 965 reported symptoms.