Coronavirus cases confirmed at Halesowen College and West Bromwich primary school
A primary school is temporarily closing and college students are being allowed to study from home as a result of two Black Country coronavirus cases.
Hateley Heath Primary School in West Bromwich closed on Monday after its business manager was diagnosed, while Halesowen College is staying open but students are being allowed to study from home after a positive case in its nursery.
The news was confirmed on Sunday as the UK's coronavirus death toll rose to 35 and it was revealed the Government will ask elderly people to self-isolate for up to four months.
Patients in Wolverhampton and Dudley were confirmed to have died on Sunday and two men in their 80s from Wolverhampton and Birmingham were among ten deaths confirmed on Saturday.
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There have been a total of 1,372 positive tests for coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Sunday, up from 1,140 at the same time on Saturday, the Department of Health said.
The true figure is likely to be far higher as testing has stopped for people with mild symptoms.
Rachel Adkins, the chair of governors at Hateley Heath Primary School which has around 500 pupils, said the school would be closed on Monday but that there was no high risk to children.
In a statement she said: "I would like to inform you that our business manager has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
"As she does not spend time with pupils, none of your children are at high risk of having caught it from her. If you or they have any symptoms please follow the advice given at www.nhs.uk.
"As instructed by the Department of Education Coronavirus Helpline, school will be closed Monday 16 March, while we receive further advice from Public Health England.
"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We will update you tomorrow (Monday) on the situation."
College nursery deep cleaned
Meanwhile Halesowen College confirmed that a "member of its community" from the nursery had tested positive and that the nursery area was being deep cleaned as a result. It is not known if the affected person is a child, parent or staff member.
The college on Whittingham Road, which caters for around 4,500 students the majority of which are aged 16 to 18, said it was staying open but students could choose to work from home.
An updated statement said: "We appreciate that there are a number of concerns following our previous post, regarding a positive test for coronavirus in our college community.
"We would like to reassure you that we are closely following advice provided by Public Health England and that, at this time, we are taking the most appropriate course of action.
"Understandably, many of you will still have concerns, particularly if you or your loved ones are in an at-risk group.
"We would therefore suggest that, students who wish to, can study from home for the next week. This will not impact attendance, but you must notify your personal coach immediately to let them know that this is your intention.
"If you do not know your personal coach’s email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Alternatively, you can report your absence on STaRS. Where possible, your personal coach will contact you to offer advice and suggestions for study during the week.
"This is our advice at this stage, but we are constantly monitoring the situation and will update our website and college Facebook page should this change.
"Please do not call the college switchboard number to notify us of your intended absence."
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