Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Surge in Covid infections among school children drives Bolton’s sky-high rate

Schools: Geoff Barton discusses pupils wearing masks

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Despite the Indian variant fuelling England’s highest infection rate, there have been no new cases among 85 to 89-year-olds in the Greater Manchester town. Yet the latest positive tests for those aged five to nine show a rate of 926 infections per 100,000, with 15 to 19-year-olds at the rate of 922.4. Worst of all, youngsters in Bolton aged 10 to 14 have an estimated infection rate of 1,203.1 per 100,000.

In contrast, across all ages, nearby Stockport has an infection rate of just 19.8 per 100,000.

Bolton Council stressed yesterday that the town’s surge is in the community, not schools.

Cllr Anne Galloway, inset, executive cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Secondary schools are doing all they can to help contain infection rates by ensuring the rollout of testing.

“Inevitably, this has detected a comparatively high rate but it is believed transmission is through the community rather than school.

“The setting up of class bubbles, using test and trace and the wearing of masks have helped. Teachers and staff have been on the front line in keeping our children as safe as possible at school and we owe them many thanks”

Secondary pupils and college students in England are asked to take twice weekly lateral flow (LFD) tests at home.

However, all schools and early years setting are being supplied with larger quantities of home test kits for parents to use.

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