Wilkes Academy covid outbreak linked to what students and staff doing ‘outside’ college

The coronavirus outbreak at Wilkes Academy has been linked to what students are doing “outside” college.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that 85 students and staff members at the Westmead-based performing arts academy had tested positive for the virus.

The private college took the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching on October 13 after a positive test result.

READ MORE: Everything we know about the Wilkes Academy covid outbreak

Speaking to BBC Wiltshire this morning, Swindon Borough Council director of public health Steve Maddern hinted that the virus may have been spread between students outside of college – rather than while they were at the west Swindon site, where measures have been taken to limit the spread of the virus.

“From the conversations that we’ve been having with the academy it seems very much it’s outside rather than inside,” he said.

“Given that the academy is a performing arts centre there is that potential for closer contact [between students] but their risk assessments would reflect that.”

During the summer, an outbreak at XPO Logistics’ Iceland distribution centre in Bridgemead was linked to staff sharing lifts to work.

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