Headteacher dies of coronavirus as primary school classes cancelled

A primary school headteacher has tragically died after testing positive for coronavirus with classes being cancelled out of respect.

Wendy Jacobs was headteacher at Roose Primary School in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 virus last week and was rushed to Furness General Hospital's intensive care unit but has since died.

Her pupils and colleagues are devastated and Roose Primary School will close today out of respect, even for the children of key workers.

A statement from the school's Chair of Governors, Fred Chatfield, said: "Dear parents and carers, it is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our headteacher Mrs Jacobs passed away today.

"This is devastating news for our school and nursery community and all our thoughts and sympathies are with her family.

"We are all in shock, and given these exceptional circumstances we have taken the decision to close the school and nursery fully tomorrow to all pupils, including those of essential workers.

"I am sure you will understand that opening the school and nursery is not an option.

"We would recommend that all children be kept at home tomorrow.

"This is a huge loss to our school, nursery and our community and I will be in touch as soon as possible to explain how we will celebrate Mrs Jacobs' life and contribution."

It's unknown if Mrs Jacobs had any underlying health conditions.

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All schools in the UK closed on Friday afternoon and all students were instructed to stay home for the foreseeable future, with the exception of the children of essential service workers such as NHS employees and food supply chain workers.

The UK death toll surged to 281 yesterday, an increase of 48 in a 24-hour period.

Some 78,340 people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK, with 5,683 patients confirmed positive so far.

That number is expected to rise in the coming weeks before the country can expect the pandemic to be contained.

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