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Covid-19 cases at Newbury school are 'not linked'

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West Berkshire Council and local health authorities issue joint statement to reassure parents

THE four confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Newbury's St Bartholomew's School are not linked and is not being considered as an outbreak, West Berkshire Council has confirmed.

The local authority has this afternoon released a joint statement with the school, Public Health England and Public Health Berkshire to reassure parents and pupils and ease anxiety.

The statement says: "As we have previously informed parents and carers, the school has had four student cases of Covid-19 so far this term. With each case, the school has acted quickly to identify and isolate all known contacts.

"All contacts have been informed by a personal phone call and systems are in place to enable these students to learn effectively during their period of isolation.

"The school has carried out these actions in line with guidance from West Berkshire Council, Public Health Berkshire and Public Health England (PHE).

Deputy director of Public Health Berkshire, Meradin Peachey, said: “The council has been notified of four student cases of Covid-19 at St Bartholomew’s School. Cases are expected in schools and are common.

"This is not an outbreak as all cases are isolated and not linked as far as we are aware.

“The school has a rigorous risk assessment and effective procedures are in place which reduces the number of contacts. The school is working with PHE and the council to ensure appropriate contacts are isolated.”

The council says it has been advised that none of the cases are linked as there are no common contacts between any of them.

It adds that, additionally, some cases can be linked to case clusters in the community and this suggests that transmission is community-based and not school-based.

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