A member of staff at Exmouth Community College has tested positive for coronavirus days after teaching students.
It comes nine days after the college revealed a student tested positive for COVID-19 after going to hospital for an unrelated injury.
Exmouth Community College (ECC) principal Andrew Davis told parents and carers he was ‘pleased to report that the member of staff is feeling well’.
Mr Davis alerted parents and carers by writing on the school’s website on Sunday, July 12, saying the staff member tested positive for COVID-19, and had taught key worker and priority children on Friday, July 10.
The college principal said the member of staff had not been onto the college site for more than a week, since July 3, when they also taught the same group of children.
Students taught by the teacher are being contacted and told to go into isolation for a fortnight, and stay away from college.
The member of staff has also given the college a list of all staff they had spoken to through socially-distanced conversations, and those named have been advised to stay at home for seven days, said Mr Davis.
Writing on the college website, Mr Davis told parents and carers: “The member of staff concerned had taught our key worker and priority children on Friday 10th July.
“However, they had not been in college since the 3rd July when they had also taught these children.
“Public Health England have been contacted.
“The member of staff presented in college as asymptomatic and therefore, according to Public Health England, presents as a lower risk since they were not coughing or sneezing.
“The member of staff had only taught key worker and vulnerable children and had no contact with any other student group.
“The parents and carers of all the students they taught are currently being contacted to advise that they now need to go into isolation for fourteen days and not return to college this week.
“As different student groups are taught separately from each other, and have different breaks and lunchtimes, only those students taught by this member of staff will be asked to self-isolate.”
The principal said keyworker and priority students were taught in different areas of the college to other age groups.
He said students were contained in their own areas of the college and banned from mixing with pupils from different age groups.
Mr Davis said the measures meant only students taught by the tutor needed to self-isolate.
He said: “The Year 10 sessions, Year 12 sessions, Key Stage 3 one-to-one and Year 10 one-to-one sessions and keyworker/priority student sessions, all take place in different areas of the college with students not allowed to go from one area to the other.
“Therefore, only those students taught by this member of staff need to self-isolate and all those potentially affected have now been contacted.
“The member of staff has also given us a list of the staff with whom they had socially distanced conversations with during the day.
“According to Public Health England, unless these staff show symptoms, or the conversations were face to face, then these staff are able to return to work where required on Monday.
“However, as a precaution, we will be advising them to remain at home for the week.”
The principal said the college has been following a number of measures to safeguard students and staff, and stop the spread of the virus.
These include staggered starts, regular handwashing, supervised staggered breaks and lunches, one-way systems, areas for different groups to socialise, and regular cleaning of equipment- such as chairs, tables, PE kit, keyboards – between each student use, well-ventilated rooms, and small student groups.
The college said Year 10 and 12 teaching groups were by invite only so that groupings could be managed, students were supervised by staff between lessons to maintain social distancing as far as possible, and staff and students were briefed each day at the start of the sessions to remind them of the safety measures in place.[asp_product id=”17531″]