Wrexham primary school re-opening delayed due to positive coronavirus test
The re-opening of a Wrexham primary school has been delayed due to a positive coronavirus test.
Many pupils across the county borough are returning this week for the first time since the pandemic forced schools to close their doors in March.
However, parents of children at St Mary’s Church in Wales Primary School in Brymbo received a letter on Friday informing them the “check in, catch up and prepare” sessions were being put on hold.
Although the school said it was not a staff member who had tested positive, the identified case has resulted in a large proportion of them being unable to work.
Meanwhile, a community leader said it was a reminder that the virus had not gone away.
In the letter, the school’s headteacher Austin Bowers said: “Whilst no staff member has tested positive, this has resulted in a significant number of staff being unavailable for work and a subsequent risk assessment has concluded that it is not possible to open the school under these conditions.
“We have worked with the contact, track and trace team and followed advice from Public Health Wales.
“We appreciate that this may cause disappointment to the children who were due to access the sessions and will cause a difficulty for the key worker families, but it is with the best interests of all children that we delay the opening for one week.
“We will use the next week carry out a further risk assessment and look to reorganise check in, catch up and prepare sessions for the remaining two weeks.”
The news follows a recent outbreak of COVID-19 at the Rowan Foods factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate, where 166 cases have been identified.
While there is no suggestion the positive test in relation to the school is linked to the food plant, the factory outbreak has led to questions over whether it’s safe for pupils in the area to return.
Anglesey Council decided not to re-open schools for the catch up sessions after a similar wave among workers at the 2 Sisters plant, in Llangefni.
In light of the most recent development, Brymbo councillor Paul Rogers said it was important for everyone to play their part to ensure the virus does not spread.
He said: “These developments at St Mary’s will no doubt be of concern to local parents and staff at the school.
“This news along with the recently reported cases at Rowan Foods is a reminder that this has not gone away and to keep our communities safe everyone has a role to play in ensuring that guidance around hygiene and social distancing is followed.”
Wrexham Council has been asked to comment.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme)
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