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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update - 4th March 2020

Wokingham Borough Council would like to update you on what the coronavirus situation may mean for staff working in schools across the borough. 

Please note, this is a developing situation and WBC will send further updates.


The situation in the UK

The number of confirmed cases in the UK increased over the weekend. You can find the latest information about the number of cases and where they are on the Public Health England website. This site is updated daily.  The Government has announced it is stepping up its planning in case the situation worsens. We will keep you informed.


The situation in Wokingham Borough

Over the weekend there was a confirmed case: a member of staff at Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley. The infected person is now in hospital. The colleagues and children with whom they had close contact have been contacted and advised appropriately by PHE. The school has closed because of the number of staff who are off work as a result of isolation advice, not because attending the school will put people at risk. Willow Bank Junior School and Aldryngton Primary School also took the decision to close - Aldryngton just for Monday March 2 and the junior school until tomorrow (Thursday March 5). These are purely precautionary measures and are not on the advice of Public Health England.

With schools closing, there could be staff from other schools affected as their own children may be off school. These staff should follow their school’s policy on Leave of Absence – section on ‘Time off for dependents’.


What does this mean for staff?

If staff have questions about coronavirus, Covid-19 and their health – such as what the symptoms are and how to stop it spreading - then you should refer to the NHS website for information.

If there are questions about the situation – such as the number of cases and where they are, and what countries are affected - then you should refer to the Public Health England (PHE) website for information.


What should staff do if they think they’ve been exposed to coronavirus

If any staff think they have been exposed to coronavirus:

  1. They should contact NHS 111 immediately.
  2. Notify their line manager.


Depending on the specific circumstances, the NHS 111 service may require the staff member to self-isolate (stay at home). If this is the case, please advise staff that this will not impact on their pay or sick-leave entitlement.

We’ve received a number of questions about what it means if you have had contact with someone who is then required to be self-isolating. Here’s an update from David Munday, the lead Public Health Consultant for Berkshire:

“Covid-19 is like most coronaviruses and we think primarily spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets, for example when someone coughs or sneezes. You catch it from someone who is showing symptoms. That’s why the most important advice is to catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue, and to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.”

“Self-isolating is another word for quarantine. It means staying in-doors and away from other people to avoid spreading the virus. You only need to self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who is confirmed to have Covid-19 and have been told to by Public Health England or the NHS. You don’t need to self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone else who had contact with the confirmed case. For example, Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley had a confirmed case. Staff and children who were in contact with the person have been asked to self-isolate. But if you visited the school, played with other children or talked to a parent – even if they had contact with the confirmed case – you don’t need to self-isolate.”


Here’s a summary:



Someone has a confirmed case of Covid-19

Isolated in hospital and treated

Someone had contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 while that person was having symptoms

PHE will assess how much contact there was and ask the person to self-isolate and/ or monitor closely for symptoms

Someone had contact with a person who in turn has had contact with a confirmed case (but has no symptoms and is not a confirmed case themselves)

No action needed – no contact with a confirmed case

Rest of population

No action needed – no contact with a confirmed case


What school staff should do:

Follow the Public Health England advice to:

  • wash hands thoroughly and frequently using soap and water - this is the best way to kill the virus.
  • catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, and then throw it away.
  • Look at making contingency plans for childcare in case of school / nursery closures affecting their own childcare arrangements.


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