Community News

Twelve Bristol schools now have COVID-19 outbreaks

Bedminster Down one of the latest

Main image: Bedminster Down School. Picture Trevor Johnson.

A further five schools and a college in Bristol have confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the total cases up to 12.

They are closely following Public Health England (PHE) guidance and have asked students and teaching staff who have come into close contact with anyone infected to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

The latest schools include Bedminster Down – which takes many pupils from Knowle West – with two confirmed cases and the whole of Year 9 self-isolating 

The others are:

• St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School – one confirmed case and all of year 11 self-isolating.

• Redmaids’ High School in Westbury-on-Trym – two confirmed cases and the whole of year 10 and two staff self-isolating 

• Colston’s School in Stapleton – one confirmed case and 21 students self-isolating 
• Oasis Academy Brightstowe in Shirehampton – one confirmed case and Year 7 self-isolating 

St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Brislington also has one confirmed case – with 103 students and 7 staff self-isolating.

Last week Bristol City Council announced four schools had been hit by the coronavirus:

  • Compass Point Primary School in Bedminster with one confirmed case – and 29 children and three staff self-isolating
  • Bristol Brunel Academy in Eastville – one confirmed case and Year 8 self-isolating
  • Elmfield School for Deaf Children in the Southmead ward – one confirmed case and. 19 students self-isolating
  • Clifton College in Clifton – one confirmed case and 35 pupils self-isolating.

And earlier this month, in just the second week of term, three schools confirmed COVID-19 cases which included Oasis Academy John Williams in Hengrove.

The council says it is working with the schools and PHE to make sure that all students, families and school staff are supported.

Bristol City Council’s Director of Public Health, Christina Gray, said: “Please be reassured that while this is disruptive for children at the affected schools, the number of cases is still a very small number compared to the thousands of children attending schools across the city.

“Well done to parents and teachers for acting swiftly as this helps stop the virus spreading to other children.  

“NHS Test and Trace continues to operate in the South West but there are currently significant demands on the system.

“If anyone is struggling to make an appointment and thinks they or their child has Covid-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and continue to try and book an appointment for a test. The symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature and/or a loss of taste or smell…”

She said following the introduction of the new rules on 14 September, reducing the number of people who can meet inside and outside their home to groups of six – it was important to keep to them.

“Most cases that have been confirmed in schools will be from children who have mixed with friends and family that they don’t live with. Therefore it’s really important we follow this new guidance, and also remember to regularly wash hands, cover our faces when needed, and stay 2m away from others.”

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (Covid-19). This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

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 – this means you have 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.

Information and guidance for parents, carers and guardians on school attendance and sickness during the Covid-19 pandemic is available at: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/guest/schools-learning-early-years/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-parents-guardians-and-carers-of-a-child-in-school