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Teachers at Greenacre Academy, Walderslade, in self-isolation over coronavirus fears

Three teachers are in self-isolation after returning from the part of Italy severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

In a message to parents today, Shelly Bridger – head teacher of Walderslade's Greenacre Academy – said the trio had visited Venice during half term.

The teachers are from Greenacre Academy, Walderslade
The teachers are from Greenacre Academy, Walderslade

The region is currently in virtual lockdown after a spike in cases of the killer disease, which began in China last month.

It is not known at this stage who the staff members are or how long they spent in the country.

Mrs Bridger said: "I have taken the precautionary measure, as advised via public health, that the members of staff self-isolate.

"I would like to make abundantly clear that there are absolutely no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at the academy and the isolated staff are not displaying any symptoms whatsoever.

"This is purely a precautionary measure. I expect to see all students in school as normal tomorrow and give you my assurance that there is no need to be alarmed in any way."

Greenacre Academy head teacher Shelly Bridger
Greenacre Academy head teacher Shelly Bridger

There are now believed to be almost 300 people affected in Italy with large parts of the north of the country closed off.

Shelves in supermarkets are reportedly empty and people are being told to stay indoors.

Britons returning from affected areas are being advised to stay home and contact the NHS if they develop flu-like symptoms.

At the time of writing, there were 80,000 infected people worldwide and almost 3,000 deaths

The teachers visited Venice over the half-term break
The teachers visited Venice over the half-term break

Last week we reported how Medway Maritime Hospital had set up special "pods" in which to treat suspected cases of the illness.

Yesterday we reported how parents at a primary school in Upchurch near Sittingbourne threatened to keep their children away after a teacher went to coronavirus-hit Singapore during half term.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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