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Coronavirus: Part of St John Fisher school, Chatham, to remain closed for a week

Part of a Kent school currently being deep cleaned after a student was diagnosed with coronavirus will now not open until next week.

St John Fisher in Chatham was initially closed until Wednesday but now only year 9 to 13 pupils will return then, with the lower part of the site for years 7 and 8 remaining shut until Monday "due to staffing issues".

Cleaners at the school in Medway

A Year 8 pupil, related to other patients in Kent, was confirmed to have the virus on Friday night.

A statement on the school's website from head teacher Dympna Lennon reads: "This decision follows a detailed discussion with the diocese, local authority and our governors.

"I have prioritised students in Years 9-13 due to their forthcoming examinations and ongoing assessments."

She added Year 8 options evenings from Wednesday until next Wednesday will also be off.

Workers from contractors Medway Norse have moved into St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School.

Medway Norse workers are on site at St John Fisher School, Chatham, deep cleaning after a pupil was diagnosed with cornonavirus
Medway Norse workers are on site at St John Fisher School, Chatham, deep cleaning after a pupil was diagnosed with cornonavirus

Several vehicles were on site this morning ahead of the Chatham school's planned re-opening.

The youngster affected is also linked to Medway's second case, of which no further details are known.

The school announced on its website on Saturday afternoon that it would be closed today and tomorrow.

The contractors will be cleaning all surfaces ahead of children returning to class on Wednesday.

It is not known how long the affected pupil was present for before testing positive.

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, Medway Council's director of public health moved to reassure the public.

James Williams said: "Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case.

"This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”

Meanwhile, Medway Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple has released a statement.

He said: "As ward councillors, myself and my colleagues have reached out to St John Fisher School to ensure they are getting the support they need at this difficult time.

"It’s reassuring the school is doing everything within their powers to keep pupils and their families safe.

‘Medway Council is following Public Health England advice, working with health colleagues to support the school, and has sent advice to council staff aimed at stopping the spread of the virus and ensuring the people of Medway are protected."

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