Coronavirus ‘outbreak’ officially declared at Essex school

A Clacton school has been officially classed as an ‘established outbreak’ by Public Health England after a number of staff and students tested positive for coronavirus.

Following meetings with PHE and Essex County Council, Clacton Coastal Academy has been forced to close to limit further transmission of Covid-19.

All students will now be taught remotely via the school’s ‘Virtual Learning Programme’ from Thursday (October 15).

According to school officials, years eight and 10 were already accessing this service after “a number” tested positive for Covid-19.

In a letter to parents and carers, head teacher David Lees said the school had been working closely with health officials.

Pupils are expected to return after half term on November 3.

He wrote: “Let me apologise for the lateness of this communication, this is due to the need for us to work closely with Public Health England and the Local Authority.

“I am very aware that I have written to you a number of times over the last two weeks, due to the fast-changing nature of the Covid-19 Pandemic in which we find ourselves.

“My aim has always been to provide you with clear and accurate communication that is shared with you as quickly as possible.

“As you know, we now have a number of staff and students with Covid-19, which has meant that we have moved Year 8 and Year 10 to our Virtual Learning Programme.

“Today we have met with Public Health England and Essex County Council, as part of an Incident Management Team meeting.

“The outcome of this meeting is that Clacton Coastal Academy has been classed as an ‘Established Outbreak’, which reflects the number of student and staff cases.

“To limit the transmission of Covid-19 we are therefore moving all students in the academy onto our Virtual Learning Programme from Thursday October 15.”

He added: “I understand that this will come as worrying news, but want to stress again that the actions we are taking – in agreement with Essex County Council and Public Health England – are with the safety of students, families and staff in mind.”

As part of the preparation for Virtual Learning, all students have received an assembly and instructions on how to login and access their ‘Google Classrooms’.

Any pupils or staff who develop symptoms are asked to contact the academy.

Essex Live