Coronavirus: Parent at Hampstead Hill School confirmed to have virus – and member of staff self-isolating

Hampstead Hill School. Picture: Google

Hampstead Hill School. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

The father of a child who attends Hampstead Hill School in Pond Street has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the school’s principal confirmed to the Ham&High.

Andrea Taylor, who leads the school, confirmed at this stage that the family were in self-isolation - as was a member of staff who had come into contact with them.

Ms Taylor said: 'We have one parent who has it, yes.'

As for the staff member, she added: 'We have taken [them] out for the moment. At the moment the family are fit and well - it's just to take the precaution.'

One Hampstead parent told this newspaper they were concerned that the school had not been closed.

They said: 'I am personally very worried. There are 15 kids a year who go from that school to my child's school.'

However Ms Taylor said the school had been deep cleaned twice. She added: 'The school has been deep cleaned more than once. If another member of the family were to get it then we would probably close for 24 hours and deep clean again.

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'If schools like us didn't keep open, the people who work in the medical profession would have nowhere to send their children.'

There are now eight confirmed coronavirus cases in Barnet and five in Camden.

As of 9am on March 10, the first case in Haringey had also been confirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday, England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries defended the government's decision to delay closing schools.

She also said the start of the UK peak of the epidemic is expected within the next fortnight as cases rose to 373 and a sixth death was announced.

Dr Jenny Harries defended the Government's decision to delay closing schools and the introduction of other stringent tactics, saying experts are assessing new cases on an hourly basis to achieve a 'balanced response'.

But new measures - including those aimed at protecting the elderly and vulnerable - are expected shortly as cases rise more rapidly across the UK.