SIXTEEN schools in Worcestershire have "closed bubbles" and sent students home due to positive Covid-19 cases.

Worcestershire County Council said the partial closures followed 13 positive cases of coronavirus among students as of Tuesday, September 22.

A council spokesman said: "16 schools have had closed bubbles, nine of which have now re-opened.

"Related to those 16 schools there were 13 positive cases.

"In addition there has been four further positive cases notified but the pupils had not started back-so no impact on the school.”

The council did not confirm which schools have been affected.

Today, The Advertiser reported that two cases of coronavirus had been confirmed at Heart of Worcestershire College. 

It is not known whether any students have been asked to self-isolate as a result or which buildings the cases were confirmed in.

The college, which has campuses in Redditch, Bromsgrove and Worcester, remains open to students and staff.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director for Public Health for Worcestershire, also confirmed today that an individual from South Bromsgrove High School has tested positive for the virus.

Close contacts have been identified and traced and are now also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance.

Nationally, the number of schools that were not fully open on September 17 due to suspected or confirmed cases rose to four percent, up from one percent on September 10.

Last week, Belbroughton Primary School confirmed a whole year group had been told to self-isolate in response to a positive Covid case.

Prior to that, Woodrush High School in Wythall sent a year seven class and three staff home after a pupil tested positive just days after school reopened fully following the coronavirus lockdown.

Millfields First School in Bromsgrove told a class and an after-school group to self-isolate after a member of staff returned a positive test.

And Rigby Hall Special School, in Aston Fields, collapsed a bubble as a "precautionary measure" after 10 pupils showed coronavirus symptoms.

In nearby Wyre Forest, 60 reception students at Burlish Park Primary School in Stourport were told to self-isolate after a case was confirmed. Two classes were shut down in response to the positive case, and children have since returned to school after self-isolating for 14 days.

In Redditch, a whole year group of Arrow Vale Academy year nine pupils - around 240 children - were told to self-isolate after a positive case was confirmed.