UPDATE: Guernsey coronavirus tests jump from 13 to 44 in one day

THE TOTAL number of islanders tested for the coronavirus has jumped from 13 this morning to 44 in a matter of hours.

(Picture by su prasert/Shutterstock) (27291958)
(Picture by su prasert/Shutterstock) (27291958)

On the States of Guernsey coronavirus webpage, regular updates are logged regarding self-isolation, the number of samples tested, the number of people awaiting results and whether the results were negative or positive.

After the announcement that 80 students and 10 teachers were sent home from school following a ski trip to northern Italy, 13 samples had been taken.

Now, that number has jumped to 44 samples with 32 awaiting results.

'Guernsey has responded in a calm and proportionate way to the situation regarding the Grammar School ski trip based on the island's specific circumstances,' a spokesperson for Public Health Services said.

'Today [26 Feb 2020] Public Health Services has arranged the testing of 29 people associated with the school trip. This is a mixture of students and staff.'

They said there was no need for the Grammar School to do anything in addition to their usual cleaning routine at this stage.

'The school is managing the absence of teachers and pupils in accordance with their normal procedures - there is no disruption to lessons at this stage.'

Teachers and pupils who were sent home from school need to self-isolate until the results of their tests are received and they are advised by Public Health that they may return.

Teachers will be paid for this period of self-isolation.

Test results usually take around 48 hours to process, although there may be some delay to this due to the UK laboratory's capacity.

Public Health said that if children self-isolating need to be looked after by parents, carers or guardians, it will be up to their employers' discretion whether they will be paid for this time off.

'There is no need for siblings or family members to stay at home at this stage.'

As well, there is no need for people on the Condor boat or others who came into contact with the children or staff to be worried at this stage.

Ports and harbour staff have been provided with guidance on the management of suspected cases.

Staff have also received Personal Protective Equipment fit training.

'Wearing a mask without the proper training on how to fit it to the face does not provide you with meaningful protection from a respiratory virus, and may increase the risk of transmission if not removed and disposed of correctly.

'There is no evidence to support wearing a mask in people who are not sick.

Public Heath recommends everyday prevention actions to reduce the spread of the virus, such as washing hands avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue.'

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