Covid-19: Omicron case closes West Bromwich school

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Phoenix Collegiate SchoolImage source, Google
Image caption,
Phoenix Collegiate School has been closed for the rest of the term

A school has been closed for the remainder of the term following a confirmed case of the Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

Sandwell Council said it was a person associated with Phoenix Collegiate School in West Bromwich who had tested positive.

Close contacts, the authority added, had been told to isolate.

The rest of the school community has been encouraged to continue to take regular lateral flow tests.

Remote learning has been put in place.

UK experts now believe the new variant could be spreading four times faster than the Delta variant, and could overtake it by Christmas.

Five Omicron cases had already been identified in the West Midlands, including another in Sandwell. Positive results were also found in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, and Shropshire's Telford and Wrekin authority area, along with two cases in the county of Warwickshire.

Walsall Council says it now also has confirmed cases in the borough, with its public health team working with the UK Health Security Agency to identify contacts of the individuals, who are self-isolating.

Stephen Gunther, Walsall's director of public health, advised residents to get vaccinated.

Shropshire Council says it has two confirmed cases in its borders, and a small number of suspected cases.

Shropshire's director of public health, Rachel Robinson, said: "If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get a PCR test. If you do not have any symptoms and are feeling well, please carry on with twice-weekly testing at home to check for Covid-19.

"It is also advised you take a lateral flow test before entering a high-risk setting."

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