SCORES of school pupils are working from home, with many isolating, after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Uttoxeter. Staffordshire County Council issued a warning to residents over the weekend, as numbers were on the rise.
More than 70 cases were recorded in the town last week, with teenagers and young adults being the most affected.
While all schools within the Uttoxeter Learning Trust are open, some children are now remote-learning at home.
Current guidance from the Government states that children should be in ‘school bubbles,’ although these can be defined in different ways and many are multiple bubbles depending on if they use a school bus to travel, what subjects they are taking and whether they are at first, middle or high school.
Sarah Clark, Chief Executive Officer at Uttoxeter Learning Trust, said: “We are doing everything we can to keep our community safe, closely monitoring the situation and working with public health experts to take all the necessary steps.
“We are also ensuring that learning is continuing for pupils who are self-isolating and that they get the support they need.”
Julie Rudge, Headteacher, Thomas Alleyne’s High School, added: “The students who are self-isolating have successfully moved to online learning, however I do appreciate the disruption that this change in routine can cause. I would like to thank our students and their families for their patience and support.”
Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, outlined new guidance for schools yesterday (Tuesday), confirming that the ‘bubble’ system, where classrooms full of children would be sent home after one positive case, will stop at the end of the summer term.
Face masks, social distancing and staggered start and finish times will also come to an end, while the Covid-testing scheme for pupils is to be transferred to the Test and Trace system.
A statement from Staffordshire County Council urged people to ‘do everything possible’ to stop the spread of infection after concerns football fans may be helping the spread by going out to watch the Euro 2020 matches.
The England team have been training at St George’s Park near Burton ahead of their match against Denmark tonight (Wednesday).
England secured a place in the semi-final last week after beating Ukraine 0-4, and if they win tonight’s match, will play Italy or Spain in the final on Sunday.
The council said there was no ‘clear link’ but urged fans to help curb the surging numbers.
Ahead of the England fixtures, people in Uttoxeter are now being urged do everything possible to stop the spread of infection, by taking a lateral flow test if they are meeting up with friends to watch the game and to strictly follow guidance on social distancing and numbers who can get together.
Dr Richard Harling, Director for Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council, said: “It is clear that Covid is spreading rapidly in Uttoxeter and we are urging people who live and work there to do everything they can to help contain the virus.
“We know a lot of infections have stemmed from people meeting to watch Euro 2020 matches and our message is: very much enjoy the game tonight, but don’t take risks by flouting the guidance which is still very much in place.”
Everyone in Staffordshire is urged to take a free lateral flow test twice weekly, get both doses of the vaccine as soon as they can and to continue to follow the rules of ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air.’
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