Person carrying Omicron Covid variant linked to Essex school, fast food restaurant and church

Tap above to watch video report by Simon Harris

A person carrying the Omicron Covid variant has been linked to a primary school, a fast food restaurant and a church in an Essex town.

Health officials are trying to trace anyone in Brentwood who may have been in contact with the infected person.

Pupils in one class at Larchwood Primary School, Hatch End were switched to ‘remote learning’ following the outbreak.

A joint statement from the school and Essex County Council said ‘specialist testing’ was being offered to all pupils and staff were offered.

A joint statement from Essex County Council and Larchwood Primary School said:

"Following further contact tracing of the known Omicron Covid-19 case in Brentwood, it has been confirmed that there is a link to Larchwood Primary School based in Pilgrims Hatch.   

"UK Health and Security Agency, Department of Health and Social Care, Larchwood Primary School and colleagues from Essex County Council and Brentwood Council have worked together to take necessary precautionary action to prevent the spread.

"This includes making specialist testing available for all pupils and school staff and confirming arrangements for remote learning for one class. 

"We appreciate that this is an unsettling time for parents, pupils and the school community but we take the time to remind everyone that this is a precautionary measure."

Staff and delivery drivers working at a KFC branch in Brentwood were being urged to take a PCR test.

Customers who visited the restaurant between 1pm and 5pm on Friday November 19th were also advised to get tested.

KFC in Brentwood High Street

KFC said: "We’re working closely with the local Covid Enforcement team and Test & Trace after a recent guest at our KFC Brentwood restaurant tested positive for the Omicron variant.

All team members at the restaurant have volunteered to take a PCR test as part of the targeted testing.

We’d also encourage anyone who visited our restaurant on Friday 19th November between 1pm & 5pm to help these efforts."

The same advice was given to worshippers who took part in a service at Trinity Church in Pilgrims Hatch on Sunday November 21st.

The infected person was said to be recovering at home and isolating with their family.

A statement from the church read: "Since the news emerged of a person in Brentwood testing positive for the new variant of Covid, we have been working with NHS Test & Trace within the past 24 hours to support their efforts in regards to this new variant.

"Whilst the person identified did not actually attend Trinity on the 21st of November, someone connected with them did attend.

We have encouraged all members to follow NHS Test & Trace requests and be tested at the identified testing sites."

On Monday Essex ’s top public health official Dr Michael Gogarty told ITV News: "It takes a long time for the person to have got the symptoms, got tested and for this to be identified through sequencing.

"The difficulty is the result took some days to come through and that's always the way with these results."