Dartford’s Wilmington Academy detects Covid case

A Covid-19 case has been detected at a secondary school in Dartford just three days after pupils returned, but the school say they have quickly taken steps to prevent the virus spreading.

A letter to parents at Wilmington Academy revealed that a student in Year 8 had tested positive for coronavirus during the lateral flow testing process, a national programme requiring all secondary school students to be testing three times as they return.

The programme successfully caught the positive test, and principal Michael Gore said they had taken steps to act quickly to reduce the risk of cross transmission.

In line with Public Health England guidance, students and staff that may have been in contact with the infected student are being asked to self isolate for at least 10 days.

Dartford school Wilmington Academy

Dartford school Wilmington Academy

A deep clean is being carried out in all the affected classrooms and communal areas of the Dartford school to minimise any risk, and PHE had advised that with these measures, the school can continue to operate as normal in line with our COVID secure guidelines.

Principal Gore said: “We appreciate that you (parents and carers) may find this news concerning, but please be assured we have taken steps to act quickly to reduce the risk of cross transmission within the academy and we are working closely with Public Health England to monitor the situation.

“We will, however, be reminding all members of the school community that they should continue to monitor for any new COVID like symptoms they may develop.”

The school has reported Covid-19 cases amongst students before.

Earlier in the week, education secretary Gavin Williamson visited Wilmington Academy to see first-hand how they were preparing for the return of students.

Mr Williamson was given a tour of the academy to view the measures in place for a safe return, the provision for key work and vulnerable students, and the Covid testing facilities.

Dartford school Wilmington Academy

Dartford school Wilmington Academy

Speaking at Wilmington Academy, Mr Williamson said: “It’s wonderful to be here at Wilmington Academy in Dartford, to see the work that has been undertaken to get the testing regime set up ready to welcome all the children back from next week and to talk to some of the children, seeing their enthusiasm and seeing how keen they are to see their friends back at school.

“Wilmington Academy is such a friendly, happy school that’s ready to give all the children the great opportunity to start learning in the classroom once more.”

Michael Gore, Principal at Wilmington Academy said: “It was pleasing to show Mr Williamson the efforts put into ensuring a robust and efficient testing regime at the academy operated by staff volunteers alongside trained Health Care Assistants from Newcross Healthcare.”

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