Published: 09:52, 10 November 2020
| Updated: 11:24, 10 November 2020
Six more people have been told to isolate due to coronavirus at the town's worst hit school.
Westlands School in Westlands Avenue, Sittingbourne, has now had at least 19 cases of Covid-19 since children returned to school in September.
A letter from the school's management to parents yesterday revealed four students - one each in Year 7 and 8 and two in year 11 - as well as two members of staff have caught the virus.
It continued: "I am aware I have sent you several letters over the past few weeks, detailing the current situation at Westlands.
"I understand that each update can cause distress for pupils and parents, so I think it is important to place our figures into context."
The letter contained a graphic of the Swale borough and its rate of infections and confirmed cases.
"As you can see, the area immediately around our school is currently experiencing a very large increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases," the letter said.
'For children, even those with underlying health conditions, Covid rarely poses a significant threat to health.'
"On November 8 alone, 61 people tested positive in Swale, of which two attend Westlands School.
"It is also worth noting the west side of Sittingbourne has been much harder hit by the east side."
Speaking to KentOnline executive head teacher Simon Cox said closing the school should be the last priority.
He said: "There is no doubt that the upsurge in cases in Sittingbourne is reflected in our schools and causes anxiety across our community.
"However, we are still significantly below some other parts of the country so we need to keep things in perspective, and take advice from Public Health England.
"For children, even those with underlying health conditions, Covid rarely poses a significant threat to health.
"Schools provide a structure and routine for children which generally benefits their wellbeing.
"Finally, parents who work to support our key services and economy need their children at school and for these reasons, as well as the more obvious fact that children will miss out on their learning, I think it is important that schools remain open, albeit with modifications and protection of the most vulnerable.
"Here at Westlands School our view is that total school closure should be an absolute last resort."