'South Yorkshire has seen some of the highest number of new Covid-19 cases', says Doncaster health boss

Doncaster Council’s top health boss has said South Yorkshire has seen some of the highest numbers of new cases of Covid-19 during the last seven days.

By George Torr
Friday, 29th May 2020, 8:15 am
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 4:40 pm

Director of public health, Dr Rupert Suckling in a letter to Doncaster headteachers, didn’t go as far to fully endorse the view held by Mayor Ros Jones and the majority of people in a survey on not recommending schools reopen on June 1, but did say he was ‘consistently monitoring the evidence and data moving forward.

He added that this monitoring will allow him to advise on the potential situation changes that are likely to develop post June 1.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered schools to start allowing pupils back in England.

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Rupert Suckling, Doncaster Director of Public health. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-26-07-19-RoundTable-MentalHealth-2

Dr Suckling said he had ‘asked repeatedly’ to see all the data on new coronavirus cases in Doncaster to get a ‘full picture’ on the situation in the borough.

The health chief said that evidence is ‘inconclusive’ on whether children are more susceptible to Covid-19 and whether they are more likely than adults to transmit the virus, but added the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) report said that the balance of evidence suggests that ‘both may be lower than in adults’.

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Dr Suckling said: “The North of the country, including Yorkshire and the Humber and Doncaster, has been constantly told that the pandemic wave is two weeks behind the pandemic wave seen in London and in the South of the country.

“The nationally available data on the numbers of new Covid-19 cases -which is dependent on the testing strategy - shows the Doncaster rate is in the middle of regional averages, although in the last seven days South Yorkshire has seen one of the highest number of new cases in the North of England.

“I have asked repeatedly to see all the data on new Covid-19 cases in Doncaster to give me a complete picture of not just how many new cases but where the new cases are and assurance that they are being effectively managed.”

The full contents of the letter to Doncaster headteachers can be found here https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/schools/director-of-public-health-letter-to-schools