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Derry school is to close after four members of staff test positive for Covid-19

Ardnashee will be shut next week in a bid to prevent further cases

Derry school is to close after four member of staff test positive for Covid-19

Ardnashee school will be closed next week.

A Derry school is to close for a week after four members of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

As a result of the positive cases, Ardnashee School and College said that more than 35 staff members are having to self-isolate for 14 days.

This is in line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines.

In a a joint statement, Raymond McFeeters, the acting principal of the school, and Alan Bates, chair of the Board of Governors, said they had consulted today with the PHA, the Education Authority and the Board of Governors.

The men's statement said that 'with deep regret' the decision had been taken to close the school for a short period of time to ensure everyone's safety.

"We have had to make the extremely difficult decision to close the whole school for one week, from Monday 5th October with the intention of reopening on Monday the 12th of October.

"This decision was taken to ensure the prevention of any further potential in-school transmissions and was also based on availability of suitable staff.

"We understand that this will have an impact on many family circumstances, but we are sure you will understand that our priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of our whole school community."

Mr McFeeters and Mr Bates thanked parents of children at the school for their 'patience and understanding' and said they would keep them informed as the situation develops.

Ardnashee, which teaches children with special needs, is the first school in Derry to close due to Covid-19 cases since the start of the school year.

The school's announcement came on a day when the number of positive cases in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area continued to rise.

A further 201 positive cases were confirmed today in the local council area.

It is the highest daily total on record with overall positive cases now standing at 1,283 in the council area.

Across Northern Ireland, 934 positive cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.

That is more than double the previous highest total registered on Wednesday.

In the past seven days, there have been 637 new cases in Derry and Strabane.

The seven day rate per 100,000 people is 422.8 - up from 169.9 one week ago.

A raft of new measures will be introduced on Monday in a bid to stop the spread of the virus in the Derry and Strabane area.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email editor@derrynews.net or editor@derrypost.com at any time.


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