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Email from school: We have decided to stay open, BUT...

78 replies

BloodyBoris · 14/03/2020 05:04

The mother of a boy at our English secondary school has tested positive for Coronavirus/Covid-19. She has not visited the school very recently. The boy's father is now symptomatic. He attended a large indoor school event with the boy on Tuesday evening this week before his symptoms started. The boy last attended school on Wednesday this week, is asymptomatic and self-isolating at the moment. School were informed on Friday, (yesterday), took advice and have decided not to deep clean or close.

Given the recent comments by WHO, and the actions of other countries and organisations, I am very concerned that this is the wrong advice and therefore the wrong decision.

It is highly likely that the father has Covid-19 and likely that the boy has it. The event on Tuesday night was attended by about a quarter of the school - around 300 pupils, staff and parents, all in very close proximity for several hours. Perhaps they are right and it is too late for a deep clean, but I can't understand why they are not closing, at least for a few days, to try to slow the spread. As yet, there are no other confirmed cases in our area.

I know that the government is insisting that a nudge to wash hands is enough, and that schools stay open in the hope that children will get it and develop herd immunity, but what about all the children who are more vulnerable because of their health, and the equally vulnerable family members at home and in the community.

Should our school stay open? And what would you do about your own DCs in this situation? One of ours has GCSEs coming up this year and is in vulnerable health at the moment, and we also have a family member at home in vulnerable health

OP posts:
GooGoo52 · 14/03/2020 05:08

Is it up to individual schools to decide if/when to close, or is it the council that decides? Our schools have now closed here in California, but we had to wait for the county to make a decision first. We don't even have any cases in our local area.

BluesPurplesLilacs · 14/03/2020 05:12

I would keep him at home if possible. That advice sounds poor.

I would expect that the boys direct classmates and teachers should stay home also.

What sort of event was it? Assembly? Concert? Or open school type event with lots of wandering around and interactions?

BloodyBoris · 14/03/2020 05:13

It was a decision taken by the school to stay open.

OP posts:
BloodyBoris · 14/03/2020 05:21

The latter - lots of mixing, milling around and close interactions in classrooms, halls and corridors. People were quite crammed together most of the time and obviously shared the same door handles, tables, loos and so on.

OP posts:
falcon5 · 14/03/2020 05:26

As far as I undrstand the policy is controlled spread. At the moment the decision is that spread can be handled. So I suppose public health England, who advise the school to close or not, will have told school to stay open.

Bellagio40 · 14/03/2020 05:31

I would keep my child at home. That is far too close for comfort.

I am on the east coast of the US and most schools and colleges here are closed and classes are being taught online

BluesPurplesLilacs · 14/03/2020 05:47

That is very poor then. I would keep my child home and I would also send emails voicing my concern about the decision. To all those involved in managing the school and responsible for making the decision.

Mummyoflittledragon · 14/03/2020 06:08

I would keep my child home. I wonder if this is happening up and down the country and the schools aren’t even informing us.

Pixxie7 · 14/03/2020 06:16

All the schools around me who have cases are sat Ying open, not even bothering with deep cleaning. You

Dhalandchips · 14/03/2020 06:39

We got an email last night saying there is a suspected case in ds's secondary school. We'll be told around 10am what the plan is.

MyOtherProfile · 14/03/2020 06:42

Exactly the same has happened at our school, down to the event on Tuesday. I'm not keeping mine off but I'm hoping the family concerned will self isolate and I think schools will close very soon.

MarieG10 · 14/03/2020 06:44

The estimate is that over a couple of years probably 70% of the population will get it. The chief medical officer admits the efforts currently are to just "flatten the curve " to prevent services becoming overwhelmed and that people catching it now they can't contain is a good thing in a bizarre way as it induces heard immunity.

I did just read though that a British scientist may be in a position to start vaccine trials by June

Shutting schools now is silly as it will be months. They can't then reopen as the epidemic gets worse and kids are least likely to get infected or suffer any serious side effects.

Roselilly36 · 14/03/2020 06:46

I would not care what the school or government dictate. I do think the government have made the wrong call on a number of decisions, too little too late.

If my children were still at school I would not send them to school at the moment.

VivaLeBeaver · 14/03/2020 06:47

I would keep my dc home.

Boris seems to think let everyone get it and we’ll then have immunity. There’s a good chance uk hospitals will be like Italy in 2 weeks with limited beds/support/help if you’re one of the unfortunate ones who are severely affacted.

KoalasandRabbit · 14/03/2020 07:05

I would keep my kids at home in that situation. Expecting schools to close shortly until the summer anyway so would just start that early and reduce the risk of the more vulnerable catching it.

Prokupatuscrakedatus · 14/03/2020 07:06

Who said that surviving an infection / illness leaves people with immunity?
The WHO? The NHS? Where can I find the proof?

PhoneTwattery · 14/03/2020 07:06


In terms of the threat of closure, schools will only close if Health England direct them to do so. In that eventuality, it is likely that all schools in the country would be affected. If staff absence means that they cannot staff all lessons then they will prioritise upper school.

mathanxiety · 14/03/2020 07:06

Illinois schools to close until the end of March (and onward, depending on the situation) beginning Tuesday. They will be open Monday to give teachers a chance to get online classes up and running, and to put paper packs together so students can work from home. Many school districts and parochial schools in the state have already closed. Teachers will get full pay as this is classed as 'an act of God' for purposes of decision making.

I don't know of a single US university that hasn't gone online after an extended Spring Break.

Most of Europe has shut schools.

I really don't understand why schools in the UK remain open. The reasons to close make perfect sense.

PhoneTwattery · 14/03/2020 07:08

The guidance says that "no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England"

oldsizenines · 14/03/2020 07:12

@PhoneTwattery is right. That's the exact advice given to schools. Whether a case is confirmed or suspected, schools are not to close unless directed to by PHE.

MissEliza · 14/03/2020 07:14

We had the same situation a couple of weeks ago. The school followed PHE's advice and stayed open. It's been over two weeks and there's not been a single new case confirmed in the secondary school or in our local area.

KellyHall · 14/03/2020 07:29

The schools aren't closing because children aren't a risk to other children sp it makes more sense to keep them together. They do pose a risk to other, mainly older or infirm, family members and this contact would greatly increase if they weren't at school. Add the economic impact of all parents being off work to look after their children and the risk to the collective is both huge and complex.


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SunshineCake · 14/03/2020 07:34

That sounds very worrying. Could you give a rough idea where you are in the world then maybe people who are seriously worried and nearby can PM you to see what school ?

I also have vulnerable health wise people at home and concerned about an event dd is due to go to.

WhyNotMe40 · 14/03/2020 07:36

They also pose a risk to teachers, but who cares about us

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost · 14/03/2020 07:36

Not to mention if kids are off family's will decide to go on holiday trips, rather than self isolate, spreading infection further.

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