Tributes paid to primary school teacher who died after contracting coronavirus

Wendy Jacobs, headteacher of Roose Primary School, was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the week.

Tributes have been paid to a primary school headteacher who has died days after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Wendy Jacobs, headteacher of Roose Primary School in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week after experiencing symptoms, and was being treated in intensive care at Furness General Hospital.

The school said on Monday that its community was “in shock” following the news of her death, and it has now completely closed – 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.

Wendy Jacobs was being treated in intensive care at Furness General Hospital before she died on Monday.

"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.

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"I am sure you will understand that opening the school and nursery is not an option. We would recommend that all children we 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."

Later on Monday, flowers and cards were left outside the school gates in the headteacher’s memory.

Roose Primary School in Barrow-in-Furne, Cumbria. (Google Maps)

It is not known whether Mrs Jacobs had underlying health issues.

On Sunday night, it emerged that a 36-year-old nurse is in intensive care after contracting coronavirus.

Areema Nasreen, described as "normally fit and healthy", is now on a ventilator at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands, where she has worked for 16 years.

The coronavirus death toll in the UK has now reached 290, with 5,903 cases of the infection reported.

(PA Graphics)

Boris Johnson has said the government is ready to impose tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the virus if people do not follow the guidance on social distancing.

Last week the prime minister announced that schools in the UK will close to reduce the spread of coronavirus, with the exception of the children of "key workers" such as NHS, emergency or transport staff.