A school based in Rutland today attempted to squash rumours with parents who were concerned about a possible outbreak of Coronavirus. The secondary school, Casterton Business College recently welcomed back students who had attended a half-term ski trip to Bardonecchia, Italy. It was reported on various social media outlets that a student has become infected whilst on the school trip.
The school advised that they have taken extra measures to help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak occurring however rumours spread quickly across social media that at least one child had returned who was infected by the infected Coronavirus virus.
In a letter to parents, Principal Carl Smith said,
“I am writing to you regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak, particularly in light of developments in northern Italy.
I have been taking advice from Public Health England and the Local Authority since Monday and receive daily guidance from the Department for Education (DfE). Their latest guidance is available for reference at the following website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public.
We understand that there is specific concern about those who have returned from the half-term ski trip to Italy. The school ski trip was to Bardonecchia, which is in Piedmont, on the north-west border with France, and is not currently an area of quarantine. Contrary to some media reports, the whole of northern Italy has not been placed in quarantine, and it is only travellers from the affected areas of Lombardy and Veneto who are being advised to self-isolate. We contacted parents of children on the trip on Monday and have acted immediately on official guidance ever since. We have also contacted the resort, and they have informed us that the town remains open and there are no reported cases. Parents should consult the website above for further guidance.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will give parents a further update later today but, as things stand, we are being advised by public health to stay open, and only send staff or students who went on the trip home, if they show symptoms ie, coughing, sneezing or difficulty in breathing.
Since the start of the week, we have issued extra hand sanitisers and wipes, disseminated basic hygiene advice and displayed information posters all around the school. The health of staff and students is our highest priority and please be assured that should the advice change we will act swiftly upon and without hesitation.
Carl A Smith, MA Principal”
We have been contacted by numerous parents who have grave concerns about the safety of their children at the college. We advise that they follow the school’s advice and ensure that good hygiene practices are followed.
We’ll update you as and when the situation develops.