Hartlepool school staff and pupils urged to take extra Covid-19 measures

Harlepool’s public health chief is asking schools to take extra measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:27 pm

The council’s director of public health, Craig Blundred, has asked pupils and staff at secondary schools to wear a face coverings in all communal areas unless exempt and that staff and pupils should test themselves for Covid-19 twice a week because of high infection rates in the area.

He has also suggested all adults in primary schools wear a face covering communal areas and that staff test themselves for coronavirus twice a week – and asked all schools to consider limiting or pausing whole school events such as assemblies.

He said: “Unfortunately, Hartlepool continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases in young people, particularly those aged between 11 and 16, and schools are doing an amazing job to stay open for both pupils and staff.

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Director of Public health Craig Blundred

“In light of the high number of cases in young people, we recently wrote to schools and parents recommending some additional actions are taken to keep our children and community safe.

“In secondary schools, we recommended all adults and pupils wear a face covering in all communal areas unless exempt and that staff and pupils should test themselves for COVID-19 twice a week, and more frequently if they asked to do so.

“In primary schools, we suggested all adults wear a face covering in all communal areas unless exempt and that staff test themselves for COVID-19 twice a week, and more frequently if they are asked to do so.

“We asked all schools to consider limiting or pausing whole school events such as assemblies.”

He added: “Early next week, we’ll be asking parents for their support. Following discussions with our secondary schools, we are advising that all secondary school pupils take a PCR test if they live with or have been identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case.

“If the PCR test is positive, they should self-isolate. If the PCR test is negative, they can attend school as normal, but should take a lateral flow test every day for seven days.

“If any of the seven daily lateral flow tests are positive, then the pupil should immediately isolate and stay off school.

“This is a temporary measure while cases are high, but by implementing them you will be helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Hartlepool and keep children in school.”

People in Hartlepool are also being urged to keep taking precautions against the coronavirus.

Mr Blundred said: “The vaccination programme is working to help prevent serious disease and reduce deaths but it is absolutely vital eligible people get the jabs they are entitled to.

“Wearing face coverings in busy indoor areas and on public transport will also help protect people, even though they're no longer legally required.

He added: “But the most important thing of all is that each and every one of us gets the vaccine when we are called to do so.

“If everyone continues to pull together we will be able to continue to make a significant difference.”