Posh boys school Eton College shuts after students test positive for coronavirus

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Posh boys school Eton College has closed after "a large number" of students and staff tested positive for coronavirus.

Headmaster Simon Henderson wrote to parents about the outbreak at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire, saying there was a "real danger" the virus could spread even further if action wasn't taken.

"Several others" were awaiting their test results and more were scheduled to be tested, Mr Henderson wrote in the letter.

A "significant" number of boys and staff were self-isolating, having been close contacts of those who have tested positive or displayed symptoms.

It is not known how many pupils and members have staff have tested positive at the boarding school, which has a student population of about 1,300 boys between the ages of 13 and 18.

Have you been affected by the outbreak? Email [email protected]

"Alarge number" of students and staff at Eton College have contracted coronavirus
(Image: INS News Agency Ltd)

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Students have been encouraged to return home before the weekend, and will continue to learn remotely until the end of term.

It comes as pupils were in the middle of end-of-term exams called "trials".

Several students will now have to sit the tests at home.

The letter, obtained by MailOnline, stated: "Having been largely Covid free since Long Leave, a number of symptomatic boys and staff have tested positive in the past few days.

Headmaster Simon Henderson wrote to parents about the outbreak at the £42,500-a-year school

Students have been encouraged to return home before the weekend

"We are awaiting results on several others, with more scheduled to be tested.

'We also now have a significant number of boys and staff self-isolating as close contacts."

He told parents it was clear there is "Covid within the school".

Mr Henderson added: "Having taken medical advice, we believe there is a real danger that the number of cases could increase significantly over the weekend and into next week unless we take action.

It comes as pupils were in the middle of end-of-term exams called "trials"

Headmaster Simon Henderson said there was a "real danger" the virus could spread

"The health and well being of the school community is my top priority."

Students who cannot return home at short notice will be allowed to stay at the school this weekend and into next week "if necessary", the letter added.

A spokesperson for Eton College told the Mirror: "A number of boys and staff have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last few days.

"Given our specific boarding context and following advice, we have asked boys to return home this weekend to minimise further spread of the virus.

"Most boys are taking internal exams, which they will now sit at home, and others will receive online tuition for three days until the end of the term."

In September, the school said a "few" students had tested positive for the virus.

It came as pupils and staff were tested by a private provider upon their return to school.

Eton College is located within the Windsor and Maidenhead local authority, which is in Tier 2, in Berkshire.

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Its rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 has increased slightly to 107.0 infections per 100,000 people in the week to December 6.

There were 162 new confirmed cases that week.

It is up on a rate of 99.7 and 151 new cases during the seven days to November 29.

Neighbouring Slough, which is in Tier 3, has seen its rate fall from 302.3 to 252.1.

A total of 377 cases were confirmed in the week up to December 6, down from 452 in the previous seven days.

The closure of Eton College comes as mass testing is set to be rolled out in schools across London and parts of Essex and Kent, where rates are rising in many places.

There are fears outbreaks at schools or universities could result in students taking the virus home with them at Christmas, when the rules are being relaxed to allow children to mix with their grandparents.

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