Schools return: Doncaster health chief expects disruption due to high covid rate

There is likely to be increased covid transmission as children return to school, the director of public health in Doncaster, Dr Rupert Suckling announced in his weekly newsletter.
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Dr Suckling said: “This week many local children have returned to school across Doncaster. We know the last two years have been very disruptive for our children so I’m sure they’ve welcomed a return to education and friendships circles. Not only does school provide a place for learning but it’s also a major source of social support and wellbeing.

“I have met with Head teachers this week to support the return but unfortunately I do expect there to be some disruption as children go back, given our relatively high COVID case rates.

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“As children return to school their social mixing increases and this will increase the chance of transmission. Not only will children who test positive need to self-isolate there could be impacts on parents and carers too, especially as we start to see cases in primary school aged children.”

He said Covid rates in Doncaster remain largely static,currently at 394.8 per 100,000, from the period 22-28 August.

There have been some changes in government guidance this term. For instance, contacts of positive cases no longer need to self-isolate as long as they feel well and do not display symptoms, so this may well reduce disruption.

He added: “Each school has made their own decisions on safety measures for their pupils and staff, so if in doubt check with your school on what you and your children can expect.

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“As we collectively try and balance the impacts of COVID against the impacts of not being in school for our young people it’s worth remembering the hard work and dedication of teachers and all school staff.”

“Finally, as we look ahead to the return of the St Leger Festival which begins next Wednesday, a reminder to enjoy ourselves as safely as possible. We’ve been working closely with the organisers to ensure that plans are in place to deliver an event that is covid safe, but if you feel unwell ahead of a day at the races please stay at home and get a test as soon as possible to try and avoid spreading the virus to others.”