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More than 100 students at Northgate High School in Ipswich told to self-isolate after pupil experiences Covid-19 symptoms

More than 100 students at an Ipswich secondary school have been instructed to self-isolate after a pupil started experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

A joint statement from Northgate High School, Suffolk County Council and Public Health England has this evening confirmed that 108 Year 8 students have been told to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Two members of staff who have been in close contact with the student – who last attended classes last Thursday – have also been told to self-isolate for two weeks.

It comes after a different student at the school tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Rowena Mackie, headteacher at Northgate High School, said: “We have acted swiftly in response to discovering that one of our students is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

"I want to reassure parents that the actions we have taken are to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all those in our school.

"We continue to work closely with Suffolk County Council, Public Health Suffolk and Public Health England who have been supporting us.”

An Incident Management Team, consisting of representatives from Public Health England, Public Health Suffolk, Children & Young People services at Suffolk County Council and the school’s Leadership Team, has been formed to advise and support the school.

Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health at Suffolk County Council, said: “Understandably this news may worry parents, but I want to reassure you that the risk of Covid-19 to children and transmission of it between children and staff is low.

"It is safe for children to be in school and incredibly important for their development and wellbeing.

“I have been impressed with how efficiently the staff at the school have managed this situation."

Mr Keeble said they will continue to offer their guidance to the school and support them to protect the students and staff.

Dr Jorg Hoffmann, deputy director for HoiHoiHealth Protection, Public Health England East, said: “We have worked with the school to identify any staff and students who need to self-isolate before returning to school.

"Using the bubble system in schools can help us do that quickly, efficiently and without causing disruption to the rest of the school.

"Our ultimate aim is to protect the staff and pupils of the school and prevent any further spread.”

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