Published: 12:11, 12 November 2020
| Updated: 12:17, 12 November 2020
A primary school is using anti-viral "fogging" machines to help make classrooms safe as it confirms two more Covid-19 cases.
Wentworth Primary School in Dartford has sent home 65 pupils and five members of staff to self-isolate.
It comes after two more cases of coronavirus were confirmed – one within a Year 2 bubble and another within a Year 4 bubble – at the school which caters for nearly 600 pupils aged between 4 and 11.
Head teacher Paul Langridge said: “My colleagues and I are following Public Health England (PHE) guidance to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone within the school community and as a result 64 pupils and five members of staff will be self-isolating at home for 14 days from the point of contact.
"Home learning has been provided and staff are supporting pupils with their learning remotely.
“The rest of the school remains open with staff and pupils continuing to follow PHE guidance in terms of social distancing, handwashing and cleaning to minimise the spread of the virus and ensure everyone can continue to learn and work in a safe environment.
“I would like to thank the staff, our parents and carers and our pupils for their support and understanding at this difficult time.”
Before the half-term the school was forced to send three classes made up of 97 pupils and nine staff members home after two tested positive for the virus.
Following the national lockdown the school has received revised guidelines to health and safety protocols.
Changes mean staff who work across different bubbles, or have different site responsibilities such as caretaking, must now wear face shields.
It has also invested in a "fogging" machine to disinfect classrooms.
The device works similar to a leaf blower and is used to sanitise spaces by releasing chemical solutions into the air equipped to kill bacteria and germs.
Mr Langridge added: “Following previous cases, the school was ‘fogged’ by our cleaning contractor so as a further safety measure we purchased our own disinfectant fogging machine to be used by caretaking staff to ‘fog’ classrooms and working spaces with disinfectant as part of our cleaning routine.
Purchasing of fogging machines is not understood to be compulsory for Kent schools but has been adopted by Wentworth as an additional safety measure.
The school also thanked Olympic athlete and star of the track Adam Gemili in its latest newsletter this week.
As a former pupil, Adam is understood to have been in regular contact and has donated £1000 to help it support the most vulnerable children and families.
Elsewhere, Dartford Science and Technology College has temporarily closed following a spate of confirmed cases of the virus.
It joins a list of schools across the county which have confirmed full or partial closures as a result of Covid-19.