Three Bristol schools confirm COVID-19 cases

Main image courtesy of Oasis Academy John Williams.

With students only just back in the classroom – four pupils in three of the city’s schools have tested positive for COVID-19.

Bristol City Council said today (10 September) the schools – were “closely following Public Health England guidance”.

Students and teaching staff who have come into close contact with the infected pupils have been asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

The schools are:

  • Oasis Academy John Williams in Hengrove. One student has tested positive and Year 7 students are self-isolating.
  • Shirehampton Primary School. One student has tested positive and Year 6 students are self-isolating
  • Two Mile Hill Primary School in Kingsway. Two students have tested positive and 160 students of mixed ages are self-isolating

A statement today on John Williams Oasis Academy’s website said: “The academy is currently closed to Year 7 students, but remains open as normal for all other year groups.

“For further information and updates please refer to our Coronavirus Updates page and refer to our FAQs video for parents/carers.”

The academy in Petherton Road takes a number of pupils from the Knowle West area.

The council is currently working with the schools and Public Health England to make sure all students, families and staff are supported.

Bristol City Council Director for Education and Skills, Alison Hurley, said: “All the schools have robust measures in place to ensure they can quickly respond to any confirmed COVID-19 cases and prevent the spread of infection to other students and school staff.

“While this is a worrying time for parents, school really is the best place for children so please continue to send your children in.  It is challenging for teachers, parents and students, but thank you to everyone for working together on this.

“We appreciate the next 14 days will be difficult for parents who need to manage having children at home, but it is extremely important we all follow the guidance when asked to.”

Bristol’s Director for Public Health, Christina Gray, said: “With students going back to school after a long break where they have mixed with other families it is not surprising that we have seen a few cases in schools already.

“Nationally we have seen an increase over the past few weeks, following the easing of lockdown restrictions, people mixing more, returning from holidays and visiting relatives around the country.

“Schools are working alongside the council and Public Health England to handle this challenge in the best and safest way possible for your children. Please be reassured that infections rates in schools are still very low and evidence suggests that children are more likely to contract COVID-19 at home.

 “Self-isolating is really difficult for people, as it means you should not leave the house.

“At this stage the guidance is that only the child who has come into close contact with the infected child needs to self-isolate. Siblings should still attend school as normal and the whole family only need to isolate if someone in their household tests positive.

“Therefore it is really important that parents follow guidance both at home, and socially, and ensure that their child is tested and stays at home if they display symptoms. This will prevent more people from potentially catching the infection and having to self-isolate.”

Deputy Director for Health Protection at Public Health England (PHE) South West, Mike Wade, said they were working closely with the schools and council to provide public health advice to stop the virus spreading.

This includes social distancing, hand washing and when coughing – covering your mouth and nose with a tissue.

The Government has issued the following advice on self isolation:

When self-isolating:

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

You must self-isolate immediately if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you’ve tested positive for coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk – see GOV.UK: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

Who else has to self-isolate if someone in their household is self-isolating?

If you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, but you do not have symptoms, other people living with you do not need to self-isolate and should follow the general guidance.

If you do develop symptoms of Covid-19, you should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – visit NHS.UK to arrange or contact NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.

If you live with other people, they will need to begin self-isolation at home while you wait for your test result. Follow the Stay at Home: Guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19.

Self-isolating at home for the 14-day period will help protect your family, friends and the NHS. Self-isolating at home in this way can also protect the most vulnerable in society, by reducing the chance of a second wave of COVID-19 in the wider community. 

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus