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Staff and students at two Cheshire schools kept at home over Coronavirus fears after Italian ski trips

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Staff and students who went on ski trips to Italy from two Cheshire schools are being kept at home as a precaution.

It follows a Coronavirus outbreak in the country, where seven people have died. 

Brine Leas Academy in Nantwich says it is acting based on the latest Government advice, and has closed its Sixth Form due to staff shortages.

Meanwhile students and staff from Sandbach High School who went Aprica during half term, in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, have also been told to stay indoors and self-isolate.

The school has released a statement, saying: "Please be reassured that no one in the school is presenting with any coronavirus symptoms; we are following advice from Public Health England and NHS 111."

Dr Matt Tyrer, acting director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “We are in regular contact with Public Health England to ensure that the very latest guidance for returning travellers is implemented, as the situation continues to develop. We are liaising closely with Brine Leas School and Sandbach High School to offer appropriate support and guidance to ensure the safety of pupils, staff and the public.

“The schools have sent home those staff and pupils who have just returned from trips to Italy as a precautionary measure. However, it should be noted the trips did not visit an area specified as a controlled area by the Italian government.

“In relation to the rest of Italy, individuals who have flu-like symptoms should stay indoors, avoid contact with others and contact NHS 111 for advice. Individuals without these symptoms do not need to contact NHS 111 or self-isolate.

“This means pupils and teachers can go back into school as normal if they do not have any symptoms.”

“We would stress that there are currently no cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) identified in Cheshire East.

“Prevention is always better than cure, so, as with the flu virus, the most effective way for people to protect themselves from Covid-19 is to adopt good respiratory and hand hygiene to prevent the risk of infection and a ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to coughs and sneezes. As the situation develops guidance is updated daily.”

For the latest information for the public, including returning travellers, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

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