Catholic high school closed, teachers self-isolating after coronovirus case confirmed

By Tara O’Connor Local Democracy Reporter

The risk of contracting coronavirus in Merton is still low, the borough’s director for public health has assured.

The statement comes after the closure of Wimbledon College today, Monday, February 2, after a member of staff became infected with the virus in Italy.

A number of teachers at the Catholic boys school are self-isolating after being in close contact with the confirmed case.

All close contacts have been given advice about symptoms and emergency contacts to call if they become unwell 14 days after contact with the teacher.

Dr Yvonne Young, consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health England, said: “We have been in discussion with Wimbledon College which has taken the decision to close as a number of staff are self-isolating due to being close contacts of this confirmed case.

“My team have assessed the risk and confirmed that there is currently no information to suggest that there is an increased health risk to any pupils or their families at the college and no recommendation for them to self-isolate. We will update the college and parents if the situation changes in any way.”

Director of public health for Merton council, Dagmar Zeuner, said everything is being done to stop the virus speading.

She said: “I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Merton Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Merton are protected.

“If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the confirmed case you do not need to take any action at this time.

“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.”

If you have been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell you should call NHS 111. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for more information.


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