Coronavirus: this is the full statement from Archbishop Temple School

A Preston school closed for a "deep clean" after pupils returned from a skiing trip to Italy, won't open until Monday.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 11:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 1:06 pm

Parents of youngsters at Archbishop Temple High in Fulwood have been told that pupils did not go to an area affected by the Coronavirus lock down but they are closing the St Vincent's Road school from lunchtime today as a precaution.

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Staff and pupils returned to school on Monday after a half term trip to Pila in Valee d'oasta, North West Italy .

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Archbishop Temple High has been closed for a deep clean after pupils went skiing to Italy

At present 11 towns in Lombardy and Venito, in the North East have been locked down by the Italian authorities following more than 350 cases, including 10 known deaths, from the virus.

Acting headteacher Julie Siddle says the closure is "precautionary" and added: "We've just returned from our half-term trip to Italy, and decided to take this action just to be on the safe side, and to minimise any possible risk of infection spreading in school.

"I'd like to stress though that this is totally precautionary. Also, we did not visit the area in Italy that is currently under quarantine."

However, it is understood that the decision to close the school was made without consultation with either Lancashire County Council or Public Health England.

Advice from PHE is to remain indoors, at home and avoid contact with other people if you have been to one of the quarantined areas.

Valee d' oasta is a region of northwest Italy in the Western Alps, bordered by France and Switzerland and is not on the quarantine list.

A letter to parents says:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

"You may be aware that the school’s recent ski trip has just returned from Pila in Italy so I am writing to reassure you that the school is following the advice of Public Health England (PHE) and the Local Authority to ensure the health of our whole community, including pupils and staff.

"As a precautionary measure and pending further information from Public Health England, governors have taken the decision to close the school at 12pm today, Wednesday 26th February 2020 and for the remainder of this week. School buses have been arranged for 12.00pm. School will reopen as usual on Monday 2nd March 2020.

"Pila, in Italy, is currently NOT a lockdown* area. However, the advice is that if you have returned from Northern Italy since 19th February and develop a cough, fever, and or shortness of breath, however, mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

Please see link below if you wish to look into this further.

Any updates will be posted on the website."

It concludes: "Work will be set on Firefly for your child to undertake at home for the duration that school is closed.

Thank you for your understanding and support.."