Worthing nursery forced to close after ‘significant’ Covid outbreak

A Worthing nursery has sent all of its children and staff home after a Covid outbreak that started on the first day of opening.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 2:24 pm

Reflections Nursery and Forest School, in Richmond Road, informed parents today (March 11) the school would be closed until March 22.

After pupils returned on Monday, two positive cases were discovered in Pre-School Two, which was subsequently closed until March 16.

The next day, more cases were found in the small school. Decision makers opted to close both Pre-School Two and the small school until March 22.

Reflections Day Nursery and Forest School. Pic: Google SUS-211103-133709001

But the outbreak has continued, with 15 children and 13 staff now testing positive, forcing the total closure of the school.

One of it’s directors, Martin Pace, said the school had done everything it could to prevent an outbreak.

“We have done everything, we have taken every possible precaution in the process leading up to this,” he said.

“I am no epidemiologist, but this week has been a really significant spread.

“Up until this week, we had two cases of staff testing positive. This is a much more significant number and more concerning.

“I’m not a specialist but there does seem to be something more contagious in the nursery this time around. But there is nothing we can do about it, apart from send everyone home.

“We’re extremely sorry because we understand the inconvenience to the parents and children. They have been online learning for a while and unable to mix with their friends.

“They get this one fantastic opportunity and then we sent them home again. These children are living through extraordinary times and it’s upsetting for them.”

Martin said the children seemed to have been asymptomatic and the staff, while unwell, are thought to be generally ‘okay’.

The nursery’s 300 children and 80 members of staff have been split into six bubbles, with around 120-130 children in every day.