Concern as Derg primary school confirms first coronavirus case

William Smith

Reporter:

William Smith

Email:

william.smith@tyronecon.co.uk

EDWARDS Primary School, Castlederg have said they are taking "every precautionary measure" to halt the spread of coronavirus, after it was revealed that a member of the school community has tested positive for the virus.

On Sunday, the school confirmed that there had been a case of the highly contagious virus, but it did not confirm if it was a pupil or a member of staff.

In a message to parents, the school said: "We have a confirmed Covid-19 case in our school community. Your understanding is greatly appreciated as we take every precautionary measure to alleviate the spread of Covid-19 and ensure the safety of everyone in our school community."

The school will reopen on April 6 for emergency 'Key Worker' childcare.

Local Ulster Unionist representative, Derek Hussey, expressed his concerns and has urged all to heed Health Service advice in an effort to slow and lessen the spread of the virus.

Mr Hussey said: "The announcement that a COVID-19 case has been identified in one of our local primary schools is worrying and I trust in a full recovery to the individual concerned and that others are not being impacted.

"I wish the school well as they endeavour to ensure that they will be able to offer places to children of Key Workers at the earliest opportunity in a safe environment with a 'deep clean' due to commence asap.

"Most reasonable people will have realised that COVID-19 would land in our midst at some stage though the actions of some, not alone in our local community, would have left one wondering if the true seriousness of what is coming is appreciated.

"Surely now everyone will heed the warnings from our Health community and endeavour to adhere to the directions and advice that we are receiving, not alone for our own safety but for the safety of all of those around us and to enable our Health Service to retain the capacity to deal with those in need of vital health care."

Sinn Fein MLA, Maolisa McHugh, said the news demonstrates the severity of the situation.

"This brings it home that this virus is everywhere, and that we have to be vigilant at all times, and in particular in terms of distancing. I have seen a number of young people congregating in a bus shelter - they are taking this on board at all and this has to be change. The message has to go out for own protection and safety. Everyone must be totally vigilant.

"This situation has to be taken seriously. We have never had a crisis or threat like this to the human race - it's like something you would see out a science fiction movie. The reality is that this virus is here, and we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our communities."

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