THERE has not been a Covid-19 outbreak at a secondary school in Newbury even though four pupils have tested positive for the virus this term.

That’s according to Meradin Peachey, deputy director Public Health Berkshire, who said all of the cases recorded at St Bartholomew’s School are “isolated and not linked”.

She added: “The school has a rigorous risk assessment and effective procedures are in place which reduces the number of contacts.

“The school is working with Public Health England and West Berkshire Council to ensure appropriate contacts are isolated.”

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The academy school, which remains open, West Berkshire Council and Public Health England have released a joint statement this week to try and reassure anxious parents.

In the statement, they said the school “acted quickly” to identify and isolate all known contacts.

They added: “We have been advised that none of the cases are linked as there are no common contacts between any of the cases.

“Additionally, some cases can be linked to case clusters in the community. This suggests that transmission is community-based and not school-based.”

During the pandemic, 660 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in West Berkshire and 133 have died after contracting the virus.