Western Morning News

Covid cases hit Torbay schools

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AT least three Torbay primary schools are dealing with Covid outbreaks after large numbers of staff and pupils were struck down with the virus, writes Abi Bradshaw.

It is understood around 15 members of staff at Warberry Academy in Torquay have now tested positive and one has been hospitalis­ed.

The school has had to shut all but two of its bubbles meaning by the end of last week just 15 pupils were left who were able to attend school.

At Barton Academy, also in Torquay, it is reported an outbreak originated from one individual and has now spread across different age groups. They have three year groups left open. And Paignton’s White Rock Primary has also closed to all but three year groups after multiple confirmed cases.

One Warberry parent has called for others to be more considerat­e about sending children to school when they have parents at home who could look after them and says teachers’ lives - and others in the community - are being put at risk.

The key worker, who asked not to be named, said: “It seems the school has been hit so bad. Fifteen teachers are down with it.

“The school is saying it is contained but I know a lot of parents are sending kids to school and they just don’t need to.

“They have a parent completely capable of looking after them at home. They are sat at home and they are bringing their children into school.

“People need to think ‘do they really need to be sending their children in?’ They are putting teachers’ and families’ lives at risk.

“Parents feel like they are allowed to do this because of what the Government has said but it is not right. Children do transmit this disease.

“It is ridiculous. I have had Covid myself and it was two weeks of hell.

“I had no physical energy and was just too exhausted to walk. It was a nightmare.”

Dr Caroline Dimond, Torbay’s director of public health, said: “We are working together with local NHS colleagues to support children, parents/carers and support staff, following a number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 within Warberry CofE Academy. The local authority is following national guidance and has asked children and staff affected, in a number of year groups, to selfisolat­e for 10 days.”

A spokespers­on for Warberry Academy confirmed temporary closure of the academy to all pupils other than vulnerable and key workers’ children in Year 2 and Year 5.

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