A SCHOOL has been forced to close until next month after a senior staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

Benfield Primary School off Old Shoreham Road in Portslade will not reopen until after the October half term holiday due to the number of staff members it currently has self-isolating.

School leaders wrote to parents on Monday following a first confirmed case of Covid-19 within the institution’s community.

Yesterday, a second update was provided saying that a second case had been confirmed, and that the school would be closing from today as a result.

The two coronavirus cases at the school are not thought to be related.

The message to parents yesterday read: “Following on from the letter we sent you on Monday, we have now been made aware of a second member of our school community who has tested positive for Covid-19.

“The two cases do not seem to be related.

“We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England.

“A senior member of staff has tested positive for coronavirus and any person who has had close contact with them will have received letters informing them that they must stay at home for 14 days.

“Due to the number of staff impacted by this, we cannot open the school safely.

“The school will therefore have to close at the end of today (Wednesday, October 21), and will not reopen until Tuesday, November 3.

“Although children will not have to self-isolate as there is no evidence that they have been in close contact with the staff member concerned on Monday, October 19, when they may have been contagious.”

Anyone whose child develops coronavirus symptoms is being told to stay at home, along with their household, for ten days from the date when the symptoms first appeared.

They are also encouraged to book a test by calling 119 or visiting the NHS website.

The current, confirmed symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to people’s sense of smell or taste.

The NHS website advises that anyone with any of these symptoms should book a test “as soon as possible”.

“Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test,” it states.

“Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.”