Manchester news Covid rates among children in Bolton highest they've been during entire pandemic Manchester united news
PremierLeague-News.Com - The infection rate among primary pupils is double what it is across the town
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Covid rates among children in Bolton are the highest they've been throughout the entire pandemic. With concerns rising over the rapid spread of the Indian variant in the town - currently the most infected place in the country - it seems the spike is being driven by school age children. Figures from the end of last week show that rates among five to nine year olds and 10 to 14 year olds were the highest recorded rates for both age groups - making up a third of all cases in Bolton. Across the whole five to 14 age range, the infection rate is 600.4 cases per 100,000 in week ending May 14. That's double Bolton's rate of 301.5 and nearly double the previous highest rate in that age group, which was 318.1 on November 6. Cases in older teens are rising steeply too, but have not yet reached the previous peak. The graph shows the spike in infection rates for Primary school children (Image: Manchester Evening News) Professor Christina Pagel, of the Clinical Operational Research Unit (CORU) at University College London (UCL) and a member of the Independent Sage Group, says the rates among Bolton's schoolchildren are 'a lot higher than they've ever been'. Tweeting her concerns, she says surge testing will explain some, but can't account for rates being 'so much higher than other age groups' compared with previous peaks. People queuing for Covid vaccinations at the ESSA Academy in Bolton (Image: PA) "When cases climb out of control, schools can become amplifying places - there is a lot of mixing in a mostly unvaccinated population," said Prof Pagel. "For schools to stay open safely, govt needs to get community cases down AND implement other protective measures." Adding that 'it's not fine to accept such high rates in children' just because very few need hospital, she pointed out that 'Long covid affects about 1 in 10, high cases disrupt education (disproportionately disadvantaged), and high cases spread to rest of community'. As well as the surge testing taking place, there's been a huge push to vaccinate residents in the problem areas of Deane, Great Lever and Rumworth. Secondary and college students are now being asked to use rapid lateral flow tests twice a week and we reported last week how one primary school was giving out PCR tests for whole families to do at home.
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. "Many of our families don't or won't follow the rules and the new surge testing has identified asymptomatic positive cases," she said. "Teachers and all school staff are walking into the unknown everyday. "They don't socially distance and continue to go about their business as they had pre Covid. This puts teachers at risk."
The infection rate among Bolton's 10 to 14 year olds
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Despite her concerns, she says classroom teaching is preferable to online, 'because many of our families didn't take part, leaving myself and my colleagues to work even harder for their children'. "While I'm in school teaching, they are mixing with others and breaching the rules," she added. A parent in Bolton told us how she's so worried about the level of infection that she's kept her children off school and believes they should close and go back to remote learning. "The families in that area are obviously mixing, which you are allowed now but it shouldn't be happening in this area," she said. "Then the children are bringing it to school. Great Lever is one of the worst areas in the UK and it's not helping to lower the cases if the children are still in school." Bolton Council’s director of public health, Dr Helen Lowey, said: “I want to reassure families that there is no additional health risk posed by any of the COVID variants identified in Bolton. “In response to the recent increase in local infection rates we have massively stepped-up testing for people, including children and young people, who do not have symptoms in Bolton. “I want to thank families for supporting Bolton’s surge testing programme so that we can stop the spread of transmission. Schools have done an excellent job of putting control measures in place to keep our children and young people safe. “The rates that we are seeing in our school age population reflect transmission happening in the community.”
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Around 200 pupils sent home from Bolton high school after positive Covid case
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