Coronavirus: Primary school closes after three staff members test positive for COVID-19

Joseph Locke Primary School in Barnsley which has suffered from an outbreak of coronavirus (Picture: SWNS)

A primary school has been temporarily closed after three members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

Joseph Locke Primary School in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was shut on Thursday for a deep clean when the headteacher sought advice from Public Health England (PHE).

Barnsley Council said two of the infected members of staff were from the same household and the other had "not had close, direct contact with children".

It has since offered the 75 children and 67 members of staff COVID-19 tests.

A spokesman for Barnsley Council said: “To ensure this is easily accessible, a mobile testing unit will visit a site near the school to allow children and staff to be tested.

“For children and staff who have not been in school since Monday 15 June, tests will be delivered to their home address, to avoid unnecessary journeys.”

Barnsley Council has since offered the 75 children and 67 members of staff coronavirus tests (Picture: SWNS)

Councillor Margaret Bruff said she did not know when the school would reopen.

She added: "The safety of children and staff is our priority.

"Parents, carers and staff have been contacted with information to help them take appropriate precautions and to arrange for testing. They will be kept updated on when the school will reopen.

"We know that this will have caused difficulties for some parents and carers, and we would like to thank them for their understanding of the situation."

“It’s important to acknowledge that just like anyone else in Barnsley, school staff and children may develop symptoms and test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

The school has been closed for a deep clean (Picture: SWNS)

Labour councillor Bruff said they have clear measures, protocols and guidelines in place for schools to reduce any risk as best they can.

These include clear protocols for responding to any child or adult, who has tested positive or displays any signs of illness.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has revealed it is his intention children of all ages in England should be able to return to school on a five-day-a-week basis in September.

The PM said to “watch this space” when asked whether social distancing restrictions could be reduced from two metres to one metre to help schools return in autumn.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson suggested primary school class sizes of 15, known as “bubbles”, could be expanded back to their normal size to allow more children back in the classroom.

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