Doncaster health boss's 'concern' as school return pushes up town's Covid rates

Pupils returning to school has pushed up the number of coronavirus infections in Doncaster – and more young people are being infected with the virus, the town’s health boss has said.

In his weekly update, Dr Rupert Suckling the town’s Director of Public Health said: “Whilst we expected to see a rise in our figures due to schools re-opening, it's always of concern whenever we start to see an uptick in our Covid rates.

The rate for the 13 to 19 of March was 121.8 cases per 100,000.

He added: “Once again I'd like to emphasise how important it is that everyone sticks to the guidance that is currently in place.

Dr Rupert Suckling.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the sacrifices our children have made over the last year and understand the temptation for them to socialise with friends after school, but every single contact is an added risk and for now we need to limit that risk as much as we can to keep to the roadmap out of restrictions.

“Whilst our rise in numbers is primarily being driven by school age children and young people, we're also seeing more cases in 20-29 year olds. We believe this is most likely due to the virus spreading in the workplace, so if you are still going into work, please stick to all the guidance in place.

“If you can’t work from home then I would urge you to make sure you are making use of one of the many community testing programmes – either through your employer or via one of our community testing sites in Hexthorpe, Stainforth and Conisbrough.

“We reach the next stage of the government's roadmap out of restrictions from Monday.

“This is welcome news for many of us but for some the route out of lockdown may be a scary prospect, particularly our more vulnerable residents who have been shielding and may well be nervous about going back out. With that in mind, please take some time to check on your loved ones or neighbours who may well be feeling a bit anxious over the next days and weeks.”

"Do still remember hands, face, space and stay outdoors - don't drift inside. These basics are really important as we aim to keep rates low and stick to the roadmap.”