PUPILS and staff who continue to go into school despite feeling unwell are being urged to stay at home as coronavirus cases circulate in Powys.

New Coronavirus cases have been reported in county schools in Powys which have been linked to pupils and staff staying in school when they have been unwell, triggering new cases.

Welshpool High School announced on Monday that it will be closed to pupils until December 7 because of a rising number of cases in the school and the wider community which is affecting learners and staff.

Now, the county council is warning Powys parents to be on their guard for Covid-19 and keep unwell children at home, even if symptoms seem very mild.

Most Powys pupils have returned to school after the Welsh Government’s national firebreak restrictions, but parents are being asked to keep pupils away from school if they are unwell.

Powys County Council cabinet member for education, Councillor Phyl Davies said: “It is vital that we do all that we can to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I urge families to help and ensure that those who are unwell and show any symptoms even if they appear mild stay at home and follow medical advice. We need to do all that we can to prevent a further rise in coronavirus cases.

“It is important for all of us to remember that coronavirus is still a very real threat to public health and the best way to stop the chain of infection is to come into contact with fewer people.”

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

• a high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

• a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you have any symptoms, ensure that you and your immediate household self-isolate immediately. Visit https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or call 119 to book a test.

The Powys Test Trace Protect team is working tirelessly to ensure that positive cases are contact traced, and that symptomatic contacts are offered testing. If you are identified as a confirmed contact, our Powys contact tracing team will call you from 02921 961133.

If you are called by a contact tracer, please help them in their vital work to keep Powys safe.