29th Jun, 2022

Coventry secondary school closes due to mass norovirus outbreak

Editorial Correspondent 9th Dec, 2019 Updated: 9th Dec, 2019

FINHAM Park Secondary School in Coventry is closed today (Monday December 9) due to a mass outbreak of winter vomiting bug, norovirus, affecting “high levels” of teachers and staff.

The school, which has 1,519 pupils and is rated outstanding by Ofsted, was closed on Friday for a deep clean over three days, according to head teacher Chris Bishop.

In a letter to pupils, parents and guardians on Friday (December 6), Mr Bishop apologised for the “disruption” but said the decision was taken in the “best interests” of students.

He said: “The school currently has high levels of student absence due to the norovirus. We have, therefore, taken the decision to deep clean the school over the next three days to try to prevent further spread of the virus.

“This means that the school will be closed on Monday 9 December 2019. We understand that this causes disruption however the

decision has not been taken lightly but has the students’ best interests at heart.

“We would be very grateful for the support of parents in helping us reduce the spread of infection. If your child has symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting, please keep them at home until at least 48 hours after they are symptom free.

“A 48-hour exclusion period is advised in current clinical guidance; however, preference may be to practice a 72-hour exclusion period. During this time, they should not mix with other children outside the home or visit local venues.”

Norovirus is highly contagious and the three main symptoms are:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhoea
  • being sick (vomiting).

You can catch norovirus from:

  • close contact with someone with norovirus
  • touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
  • eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus

The NHS advises that washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.

Already across the UK 1,100 hospital beds in England have been closed in the past week, according to NHS figures. This comes after Public Health England (PHE) found the number of norovirus cases in hospitals for mid-November was 28% higher than the average number of cases in the same period over the last five years.

Families are advised to check the school website and social media for any updates today (Monday, December 9): finhampark

For further health guidance on how to treat norovirus check out the NHS website: nhs

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