Coronavirus cases in schools on the increase
Friday, July 9, 2021
The latest weekly Covid-19 statistics show there were 104 outbreaks in primary schools between 28 June to 4 July, up from 78 outbreaks the week prior.
An outbreak is defined by Public Health England (PHE) as 'two or more confirmed cases of Covid-19' among individuals who display symptoms within 14 days' of each other and have had exposure to at least two 'test confirmed cases' within the same setting.
The publication of the PHE figures comes after the joint secretaries of the National Education Union (NEU) sent a letter to the education secretary Gavin Williamson outlining their concerns about the removal of Covid safety measures in schools from next month.
Earlier this week, the Government announced the removal of education bubbles from 19 August and plans to move sole responsibility for track and trace for school pupils to the NHS.
Within the letter, the leaders of the union ask Gavin Willamson for an explanation for the policy as they say they are ‘seriously concerned’ that if it is based on “hope for the best”, then there could be even more ‘chaos and disruption next term’.
They go on to ask a number of questions including:
- ‘What is the range of projections of the number of children that will contract Covid under the programme of relaxations during the Autumn term.’
- ‘What projections the Government has on the number of children who will experience long Covid?’ Data from the Office for National Statistics for the four-week period leading up to 6 June suggests that more than 30,000 two – to – 17-year-olds have been affected.
- ‘What plans there are to help improve ventilation in schools as the weather worsens in the Autumn.’
The Government has been contacted for a response.
- The PHE figures are available to view here