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Warwickshire schools hit by wave of positive Covid tests

Warwickshire’s schools have been hit by a wave of new Covid-19 infections with more than 1,300 pupils testing positive for the virus in the latest week’s figures.

Statistics from Warwickshire County Council from 20th to 27th September show 1,314 children tested positive, with the largest number of cases being recorded in secondary schools.

Schools in Stratford District are some of the worst hit, with 283 positive cases being detected, the second highest in the county behind Rugby with 394.

187 of Stratford’s cases have occurred in secondary schools and 96 in primary schools.

In North Warwickshire there were 127 cases recorded in total, 252 in Nuneaton and Bedworth and 240 in Warwick, though there were more infections in primary settings than in secondary ones in Warwick..

It is perhaps unsurprising that Stratford is seeing a higher number of infections in schools given the most recent figures overall infection figures from Public Health England (from the 18th to 24th September) show a weekly infection rate of 447.9 per 100,000 people, above areas such as Warwick, Coventry and Solihull.

However schools are working hard to keep disruption to a minimum.

Neil Wallace, headteacher at Stratford High School, said: “At the moment we have 32 children off after recording a positive PCR test, we have a student body of around 1,650 students, so this represents around 2 per cent.

“We are keeping a close eye on things and there may be other secondary schools in the district with higher rates, but for us it is currently at a level that is manageable.

“Students have been wearing masks in communal areas since the start of term, so perhaps that has made a difference.

“The situation is fluid, but we’re working hard to keep people in the building and we are providing comprehensive online learning for those who are at home.”

It is no longer necessary for schools to keep groups of children in bubbles, meaning assemblies have been able to resume and arrangements are not needed to prevent pupils mixing at lunchtimes.

However schools are advised to have outbreak management plans in place detailing how they would operate if extra measures were introduced in response to numbers of positive cases increase substantially.

Children are considered to have an extremely low risk of developing a serious illness if they catch Covid-19 and all children aged 12 and over are now eligible for a vaccination against the virus.

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