MOBILE coronavirus testing units have been sent to a high school after a large coronavirus outbreak.

Students from years 7, 8 and 9 at Mount Carmel High School in Accrington have all returned to remote learning over the last week after several positive cases were recorded.

Sources have now said that as many as 50 pupils and staff have contracted the virus.

As it stands, students in years 10 and 11 will continue to attend classes.

Public Health England have arranged for two COVID-19 mobile testing units to be sited at the Wordsworth Road school for the next three days.

In a statement Mr Bowers said: “Due to a number of staff and pupils in year 8 and year 9 testing positive for Covid-19 last week, we were advised by Lancashire Public Health for all pupils in these year groups and all staff who had taught them to take a PCR test over the weekend.

“As a result, we have had a significant increase of staff and pupils testing positive for Covid-19, most of whom are asymptomatic.

“Given the high numbers, all pupils from years 7, 8 and 9 will work online remotely at home from Monday 26 April and return to school on Tuesday 4 May.

“Our top priority throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic has been the health and wellbeing of the school community onsite and remotely at home. Up until now our numbers of staff and pupils affected by COVID-19 has been relatively small. This situation is a clear reminder to everybody that we must all follow COVID-19 government rules and guidelines in school and in the local community.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and is with the full support of school governors Lancashire County Council and Public Health England. We are confident that our school COVID-19 policies and risk assessments have been constantly reviewed during the pandemic and are robust.

“We are continuing to work closely with Public Health Lancashire, Lancashire LA and Hyndburn Borough Council.

“We are going to continue to do our utmost to keep school open onsite for pupils in year 10 and year 11, but we will have to keep the situation under constant review.”

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council, said: “We’ve been working closely with Mount Carmel RC High School and Public Health England following a spike in Covid-19 cases amongst its staff and pupils over the last few days.

“The measures the school has put in place will help to reduce the spread of the virus and we’ll continue to work closely with them and advise if any further action needs to be taken.”

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