Harrogate school writes to parents with Coronavirus advice following half-term skiing trip to Italy

Harrogate Grammar School has confirmed it has written to parents with advice about Coronavirus following a school skiing trip to Italy over half term.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:12 pm

The virus has now spread to Italy, with 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto currently on lockdown and police manning checkpoints around the towns in quarantine.

While the Grammar School trip did not actually visit the affected areas directly, officials have confirmed that they are taking all the necessary precautions after taking advice from Public Health England and North Yorkshire County Council.

Harrogate Grammar School has taken all precautions to make sure students, staff and parents are as safe as possible.

A letter has been written to parents to make them aware of the situation and informed them that children should remain in school unless they are displaying any of the Coronavirus symptoms.

Richard Sheriff, Executive Headteacher at Harrogate Grammar School, said: "Like many schools, we had children at a ski resort in Italy over half term, but I would like to stress that this was not in one of the affected areas.

"We have been liaising with Public Health England and officials at North Yorkshire County Council and have been following the exact advice they have been giving to all schools.

"We have published a letter to parents following this advice and that of the Department for Education, which is for anyone who has been on holiday over half term, whether that be the skiing trip or anywhere else, to continue coming in to school as normal unless they begin to have flu-like symptoms.

"If anybody does have any symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and call NHS 111 - as advised by Public Health England.

"We are just a school and cannot give medical advice - we are just following advice from those who are professionals in this field.

Nineteen children and four members of staff at Salendine Nook High School in Huddersfield have been told to stay at home and self-isolate as a precautionary measure after they too went on a ski trip to Italy over the half-term holidays.

Health officials have confirmed that 322 people have tested positive for the virus in Italy, with ten of the cases proving fatal - the majority of deaths occurring in the worst impacted region of Lombardy.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus, originated from Wuhan in China. As of February 25, the outbreak has affected 80,000 people globally. There have been 13 recorded cases and no fatalities to date in the UK.

The World Health Organisation has urged anyone who has recently been to mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and who is experiencing a cough or fever or shortness of breath to stay indoors and call NHS 111.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.