PEOPLE are being urged to "follow public health guidance to stop the spread of infection" after a school confirmed one of its staff had tested positive for coronavirus.

The case at Cardinal Newman Catholic School was confirmed on Friday by Principal Claire Jarman in a letter to parents.

She said she had been informed of the news at 9.30am that day and had been in contact with both Public Health England and her colleague who had contracted the virus to work out how best to proceed.

Ms Jarman said: "Two year seven classes are affected and I have already contacted those parents directly, as their children will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

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“We fully appreciate this is not the start to the new term any of us would have wished for, and we will work hard to keep in close contact with the children and to ensure they feel fully part of the Newman family.

“We also have a number of staff who will also need to isolate.

“This mainly affects our Learning Support team, which means that we might be able to offer less support for the next fortnight than we would want.”

Brighton and Hove City Council has now issued a statement providing advice to residents following the news.

A spokeswoman said: "We are closely monitoring the situation at Cardinal Newman School in Hove and are urging everyone to follow public health guidance to stop the spread of infection.

"This includes maintaining good hygiene, physical distancing, limiting contact between households, wearing face coverings and self-isolating when appropriate.

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"Following the guidance will help us avoid further cases in schools.

"Specialists from Public Health England (PHE) South East are providing expert guidance.

"In the run up to our schools re-opening the council has provided comprehensive support to make sure that, when there are cases of Covid, schools are well prepared and work with Public Health England to reduce the impact.

"The council has been putting out regular information for schools, parents and students.

"We’ve created a special area on our website to support students and families with children returning to school.

"Over the weekend we are continuing to share public health messaging to remind people to play their part in keeping safe and the rate of infection in the city low.

"Anyone developing symptoms, which include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to their sense of taste or smell, should self-isolate straight away and arrange a COVID-19 test."

Click here to visit the NHS website and arrange a test>>>

Year seven, eight and 11 pupils recently returned to Cardinal Newman following the summer holidays and the period of enforced closure caused by coronavirus.

Year nine and ten pupils will return to the school tomorrow.

Principal Jarman encouraged parents to stress the importance of social distancing to their children ahead of their return.

Writing to parents on Friday, she said:  "In my conversations with PHE today, the main thing that struck me is the paramount importance of social distancing as just one minute at the proximity of one metre, or fifteen minutes at two metres, means you are a close direct contact.

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"Could you therefore please impress upon your children the need to keep socially distanced and to keep washing hands.

“Our colleagues and children who need to self-isolate are in our thoughts and prayers, and my hope is that we can continue to work together to keep our community safe and secure.”