‘Community seeding’ in Alderney sees school close

image captionThe school was only due to be open until lunchtime as it is the last day of term

Community seeding appears to be behind three new positive case of Covid-19 in Alderney, Public Health has said.

St Anne’s School has been closed as it is the last day of term and eight staff members are isolating due to being close contacts of one of the cases.

Even those staff who are fully vaccinated have been asked to isolate while “surge testing and further contact tracing is carried out”.

Previously Alderney had only had one confirmed case of Covid-19.

Dr Nicola Brink, director of Public Health, said: “We expected and are fully prepared for managing instances of community seeding as we begin to live responsibly with Covid, and they are not of themselves cause for significant concern.

“We will continue with our significant efforts around contact tracing to help contain them. I don’t want the bailiwick community to be concerned that any time we contact trace in an education setting, we will take the decision to close the school.

“That won’t necessarily be the case and will depend on the individual circumstances.”

She said a “cautious approach was appropriate in this case”.

Martin Winward, head teacher of St Anne’s School, said: “I think this is a pragmatic and sensible decision given the circumstances and will hopefully reassure our local community as a result of the prompt action taken.

“While none of the three positive cases identified work in the school, eight members of our staff are now in self-isolation as close contacts of one of the positive cases, so it is sensible for us to close today – especially as it is a half day for the last day of term – so that Public Health can focus on further contact tracing and testing.”

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