TWO pupils at a Winchester primary school are being tested for the coronavirus as a student at a local secondary school is reported to have tested positive.

Western Primary School headteacher Peter Burbridge alerted parents in a letter yesterday.

Meanwhile a pupil at Perins secondary school in Alresford has tested positive and the school is to undergo a 'deep clean'.

Mr Burbridge's letter states: "On advice given, I am writing to inform you that two members of the school community are being tested for Coronavirus Covid-19. I have been in contact with Public Health England – (Hampshire/Isle of Wight) who have stated that if these students are being tested as possible cases there is no indication for school closure or any other measures for staff or children.

"Public Health guidance for educational settings states that no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home. As a precautionary measure, the NHS are currently testing a very large number of people, the vast majority of whom test negative. Therefore, until the outcome of test results is known, there is no additional action that we need to take apart from cleaning specific areas.

"Additionally, it has come to my attention that one or two children have been coming into school with masks to wear during the day – this has alarmed some other pupils as well as the individuals themselves not being keen to wear them and be different to everyone else. Public Health England advice is that whilst face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.

"I hope this helps to keep everyone informed and up to date with developments. Thank you for your continued support."

The letter from Steve Jones, Perins headteacher, to parents, said: "We have been made aware by Public Health England (PHE) that one of our students has tested positive for Coronavirus. Swift action has been taken to ensure the situation is being managed according to medical guidance, and the student is not in school (and was not in school whilst showing symptoms). Experts from PHE have traced anyone who had close contact with the student during the infectious period to provide the appropriate health advice. Anyone who has not been contacted directly by PHE should continue to go about their daily routine as normal and is asked to follow the publicly available health guidance

"I understand that parents may be worried, but following advice from the specialists at PHE, I am assured by the experts that there is no need for our school to take any action at this time, and lessons and other activities will continue as normal.

"As an additional measure, outside of the guidance from PHE, we have taken the decision to arrange for a ‘deep clean’ of the school in order to provide reassurance for students, staff and parents (though it is clear from advice that this is not necessary at this stage).

"The Department for Education has set up a general helpline for parents should you have any queries or concerns about the virus.


              0800 046 8687

    8am to 6pm Monday to Friday

"I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that there are simple measures we can all take to reduce the spread of infections, including Coronavirus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds especially after using public transport
  • If soap and water is unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

"For the latest information and advice on the virus, go

"The school will continue to closely monitor the situation and will inform parents quickly if the advice to us changes."

A student at Peter Symonds College has also tested positive.

Last week two pupils at Oliver's Battery Primary were put into isolation after travelling in a taxi that also carried a person with a confirmed diagnosis.