A DEDICATED coronavirus pod at Warrington Hospital was used by a head teacher of a school which has closed this week after staff and students visited Italy.

Cransley School, in Northwich, has closed for the week after NHS clinical services advised any staff or pupils who went on a ski-trip to Bormio in north Italy to self-isolate.

The head teacher was being tested for the virus in the pod set up by the NHS at Warrington Hospital.

The school has now confirmed he is back home 'drinking tea and eating cake'.

A letter from the head teacher, Richard Pollock, said: "Following a ski trip by 29 pupils and 5 staff from Cransley School to Bormio in Lombardy over half term, a small number of pupils and staff began showing mild flu-like symptoms yesterday."

He added: "All pupils who are unwell should inform NHS 111 and insist on being tested for the Coronavirus.

"I am attending a dedicated ‘pod’ at Warrington General tomorrow myself. Pupils should not use public transport or taxis."

Warrington Guardian: Simon Leyshon will be joining Cransley School as head in September.

Cransley School

Coronavirus pods have been set up at hospitals across the country following the outbreak which started in China.

They aim to keep patients away from A&E.

Signs directing people to the testing pods have been put up in the main entrance of Warrington Hospital.

It has now spread across other Asian countries with Italy the latest country affected.

An NHS spokesperson said: “Anyone returning from Hubei province in the last 14 days should stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111 whether or not they are showing symptoms.

“Anyone with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath who attends hospital and has recently returned from one of the specified countries, will be advised to follow signs to NHS 111 pods and call for advice, so they stay isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.”

The NHS has issued the latest advice:

Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

Patients and members of the public that have travelled from Wuhan city and Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days or individuals that have returned from Italy (Lombardo or Veneto containment areas), Iran, and Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea) since February 19 should immediately self-isolate, even if symptoms are minor and call NHS 111.

Patients and members of the public that have travelled from any of the category 2 countries (see this list)  AND develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should immediately self-isolate and call NHS 111.

In all cases do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

More information is available on gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk.