Covid rates among teenagers rise as school cancels open event

Health chiefs have warned people to get fully jabbed as quickly as possible as cases of coronavirus rise in the community.

In Staffordshire, the ages of 11 to 17 are seeing the highest rates after schools returned this month – but younger adults in the county are also being encouraged to take extra care to help minimise the risk of outbreaks in the community and workplaces.

Stafford was among the five UK areas with the biggest week-on-week rise this week. While the seven-day case rate in Staffordshire is 381.5, much higher than the West Midlands average of 296.6 and the England average of 253.2.

Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s director of health and care, said: “The best way to bring cases down is to identify everyone who has the virus as quickly as possible and limit their contact with others and the best way to do this it to keep getting tested.

Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s director of health and care is urging young people to get tested and vaccinated

“Getting both jabs as soon as possible must go hand in hand with this as the more people who are protected from the serious effects of the virus the more people we can stop from becoming very ill, admitted to hospital or even dying.”

Pupils, staff and their families in Wolverhampton are also being reminded to get tested to help keep Covid out of the classroom. There have been 119 cases of Covid-19 reported to Wolverhampton Council in the last 10 days, including 70 within primary and 37 in secondary schools.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the council's cabinet member for education and skills, said: "Our schools are working hard to keep Covid-19 cases to a minimum, but it was always inevitable that, as pupils and staff returned, there would be cases of the virus identified.

"I would urge everyone to keep doing all they can to stop the spread of the virus; that means secondary pupils and all school staff getting a rapid test twice a week and everyone taking a PCR test if they develop symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild. By doing this, you can help keep the virus out of our schools.”

Stourbridge's Redhill School cancelled its open event this week, due to be attended by more than 800 people, after a rise in cases.

Redhill School, in Stourbridge, had to cancel an open day. Photo: Google

In an email from the headteacher, seen by the Express & Star, the school said: "We have recently received confirmation of an increased number of Covid-19 cases within Redhill School. As of July, NHS track and trace carry out the contact tracing following a positive PCR test, they will contact you if you need to take any action.

"As a result of the increase in cases and in order to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have made the decision to cancel open evening. We are incredibly disappointed that this has happened, as over 800 people had booked to come and visit the school.

"Despite the disappointment, we know the decision is the correct one, as it will reduce any further transmission within our local community. Open evening is a chance when members of the public have the opportunity to see our children and hear about their experiences at Redhill. It is a celebration of all we do. Please thank your child if they were due to help out.

"In order to keep our school and community safe, please can you ensure that your child continues to take lateral flow tests twice a week, ensure that they have hand sanitiser ( we will be issuing small bottles to pupils tomorrow) and if possible, provide them with a face mask/covering to wear in school (this is recommended and not mandatory at the moment)."

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