Two high school pupils have been sent home with coronavirus-like symptoms following a ski trip to northern Italy.
The Trentham Academy students have been isolated and are being tested for the potentially-deadly disease after coming down with the symptoms on Tuesday, February 25.
A small group of Trentham pupils visited Ahrntal Valley, in South Tyrol – which is outside the current lockdown area in Italy – during last week’s half-term break.
Twelve people in Italy have died of Covid-19 with hundreds of confirmed cases, and authorities have now quarantined 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto.
Trentham Academy headteacher Mike Whittingham initially wrote to parents on Tuesday, saying that the school considered the risk to students to be ‘extremely low’, as the group had not travelled through any of the areas in lockdown.
A second letter went out earlier today, saying that two pupils had developed flu-like symptoms and were being isolated and tested, in line with Government advice. The results of the tests are expected tomorrow.
The school is monitoring the health of pupils and staff, and is advising parents to be vigilant for any symptoms, and call NHS 111 if they have any concerns.
In today’s letter, Mr Whittingham states: “To confirm, yesterday, two students who attended the visit displayed symptoms associated with coronavirus. In line with recommendations to contain any possible spread, isolation and testing followed. It is anticipated that test results will be shared with the family affected within the next 24 hours.
“As you would expect, we remain in close contact with all advisory bodies relating to this matter. At this point, both Public Health England and the NHS have advised that we monitor the health and well-being of our academy community and follow the same steps should any other person or persons present with symptoms.”
A Trentham Academy statement added: “A small group of staff and students participated in a ski trip to northern Italy during half-term. On return, two students displayed symptoms associated with coronavirus and have been tested. The results of these tests are still pending.
“The academy is in close liaison with Public Health England and the NHS and is following all advice offered to ensure the health and wellbeing of our academy community.”
Brine Leas Academy, in Nantwich, and Sandbach High School have both this week sent home staff and pupils following ski trips to northern Italy.
The Government is currently advising people who have returned from the lockdown areas in Italy since February 19 to stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111, even if they are not displaying symptoms. This advice also applies to people returning from Hubei province in China, Iran and parts of South Korea.
Anyone who has returned from the wider northern Italy area – anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini – is being advised to self-isolate and call 111 if they start to develop flu-like symptoms, however mild. Typical symptoms can include fever, shortness of breath or a cough.
So far there have been 81,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, mostly in China, with 2,770 deaths.
For more advice, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call NHS 111.