A Carlisle primary school is to remain closed for an extra week following the end of the half-term holiday due to a “number of” the school’s community having tested positive for Covid-19.

This coming Monday is for most schools in Carlisle the beginning of the final half of the autumn term, after a week’s holiday this week.

However, pupils at Norman Street Primary School will not be returning to the school site for a further week on Monday, given the fact that a number of those attending or working at the school have tested positive for the virus.

A letter sent from headteacher Carolyn Murray to parents and carers of pupils at the school on Monday explained the situation.

“I am writing to inform you that due to a number of staff and/or children at our school testing positive for Covid-19, the decision has been made to shut the school with immediate effect for a period of 14 days,” Mrs Murray wrote.

“This decision has been taken in order to protect our staff, children and families and reduce the risk of any further spread of the virus, both at school and within the wider community.

“The school will reopen on Monday, November 9.”

Mrs Murray added that the current situation “might be an anxious time” for parents and carers, and sought to reassure that most children have “only mild symptoms and recover quickly.”

“However if you have any concerns if your child develops symptoms, please call 111,” the letter added.

An email sent to parents accompanying the letter added that the school strongly recommends “that families stay at home and minimise contact with people outside of their household, treat this two week break as a ‘circuit breaker’ to slow down the transmission of the virus.”

“We stress that if anyone is struggling, please contact either the school office – the phone is being manned and the emails monitored – or Cumbria County Council’s Ways to Welfare service,” the email added.

“We will offer as much support as we are able to.”

Government guidance for schools advises close working with their local health protection team in the case of positive cases of Covid-19 identified within a school, which will “advise if additional action is required.

“If schools have two or more confirmed cases within 14 days... they may have an outbreak."

The guidance adds that whole school closures “should not be considered except on the advice of health protection teams.”