The independent London newspaper

Virus may have already ‘swept through school’ in spring term

Five teachers tested for antibodies

15 May, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

FIVE teachers at a primary school may have had the coronavirus without realising it.

Kate Frood, the headteacher at Eleanor Palmer School in Tufnell Park, said in a bulletin to parents that staff had taken part in a research project at UCL and antibody tests suggested they had already contracted Covid-19.

“We are increasingly convinced (with the obvious caveat that we are not scientists or statisticians) that Covid-19 swept through London, Camden and Eleanor Palmer in the spring term, much of it before March,” she wrote.

She said none of the five members of staff who tested positive for antibodies “had the headline symptoms”, adding: “Given that staff have had more traditional symptoms during lockdown, it is possible that many of the children’s illnesses in February, March, and even January, were Covid.”

Schools are preparing for a phased return of pupils. Ms Frood said the test results would “not in any way reduce the meticulous attention to safety measures going forward.”

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