Andover and District Mencap has closed its children’s respite service after seven Covid cases were confirmed by the charity.

The charity, which supports those with learning disabilities, as well as their families and carers, said that six members of staff, as well as one service user, had received positive test results for the virus.

Helen Walker, the charity’s CEO, told the Advertiser: “Andover and District Mencap currently has six staff members of staff and one service user who have tested positive for Covid-19.  We have been liaising with the local Public Health Team and informing relevant authorities whilst following all necessary guidance and actions. 

“We have had to make the decision to close our Children’s Respite Service, Rainbow Corner, for a short period of time but will be returning to our normal service provision once staffing levels allow this to be done safely.

“We continue to provide all other areas of care and support to individuals within the community.”

The announcement follows three schools in Test Valley confirming positive Covid tests this week.

Icknield School confirmed eight positive tests on Monday, October 19, including six members of staff and two students. Norman Gate School also reported that they had confirmed Covid on the same day. Subsequently, on Tuesday, October 20, Test Valley School in Stockbridge also confirmed the virus. All three schools remain open.

A positive Covid-19 result was also confirmed at Overton Primary School, where students in the year group bubble of the infected pupil told to self-isolate.

As of 4:21 pm today (October 23), 15 new people had tested positive for Covid in Test Valley. This brings the total number of cases in the borough to 896.