A school will remain closed until Monday as two “members of the school community” have been tested for coronavirus.
Rickmansworth School in Scots Hill, Croxley Green, sent an email to parents and caregivers today, shortly after 6:00 pm (February 26), explaining the current situation of the school.
The email, which we are told is authentic, has already been widely circulated on social media and several copies have been sent to Observer.
The Observer saw both an email sent through the principal’s AP to parents today at 18:18 and a text message sent to parents at 18.38 informing parents that the school will be closed until Monday.
In the email, Principal Matthew Fletcher says he was informed by both Hertfordshire County Council and Public Health England and that the decision to close the school at 4:00 pm was made today.
The email sent today
The email adds that two people are being tested for coronavirus and that the results will take 24 to 48 hours to return.
The Observer It was said that the pupils returned from skiing in northern Italy last week.
We understand that they were in Piancavello, on the border with the Veneto region: Veneto is one of the two regions in Italy, where several cities have been blocked.
However, Piancavello is some distance away, believed to be about 100 miles from a city that has been put on hold.
Italian authorities reported Tuesday evening that the number of infected people in the country grew to 322, or 45% in 24 hours, and the death rate of patients with the virus rose to 11.
The British who were in the blockade regions of Italy – including Lombardy and Veneto – were told that they would have to self-isolate themselves at home for 14 days even if they had no symptoms.
Public Health England has confirmed that it is not suggesting that schools shut down in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.
However, it appears that Rickmansworth School is taking precautionary measures.
The e-mail sent by the school reads: “At the moment we have two members of the school community who are testing for coronavirus and, consequently, the board of Public Health England at 16:00 today was to close the school until the test results are known.
“We expect the results to be available in the next 24-48 hours. As a result, we don’t expect the school to reopen before Monday March 2nd.
“There may be more students testing coronavirus in the coming days.”
The email added that “it is essential” that parents communicate to school if their child is being tested for coronavirus.
Just before 11pm, Rickmansworth School tweeted: “Rickmansworth School is closed until Monday March 2nd. Further details were provided to parents via email and text message.”
In the meantime, the Catholic John F Kennedy school of Hemel Hempstead confirmed to the Observer today that an e-mail sent to his parents yesterday stating that a pupil was in intensive care with coronavirus was a hoax.