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Schools back in September despite fresh fears for older pupils

Schools back in September despite fresh fears for older pupils

Thursday 13 August 2020

Schools back in September despite fresh fears for older pupils


The Government is still recommending that all children return to school next month despite new concerns that older pupils spread covid-19 just as easily as adults.

The finding came in an unpublished study by Public Health England, which was reported in national newspapers this week.

Like the UK, Jersey is planning for all children to start the new academic year on Wednesday 2 September with safety measures in place.

A spokesman for the Government of Jersey said that this was based on information from other jurisdictions.

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Pictured: The Times reported on the concerns of authors of a report by Public Health England.

They explained: “Information from the Netherlands is that they noticed no spread from children under 19 years old, and the reopening of primary and secondary schools did not affect the outbreak.

“In New South Wales nine pupils and nine teachers tested positive across five primary and ten secondary schools. This led to 735 pupils and 128 teachers who were close contacts. 30% of the contacts were tested – and all were negative."

They added that the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell had recommended that, if the covid-19 situation in the island remains stable, all children should return full-time to school in September.

Their decision not only followed international evidence that "both the incidence and the severity of covid-19 in children is low", but also analysis of how local school closures affected the rate of transmission in Jersey.

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Pictured: Schools in Jersey will have their own return plans for September.

School closures in Jersey were announced in March.

However, two months later, the medic leading Jersey's pandemic response, Dr Ivan Muscat, revealed that they had done little to dent the spread of the illness.

Dr Muscat explained at the time: "Historically, we thought that covid might behave like influenza, and influenza, like we all know, is children that have influenza are 'super spreaders'... We assumed that it behaved like influenza in children, but it doesn’t.

"We now have evidence in many countries that children are not super spreaders of covid, and our local evidence is similar to that. School closures do not have a significant effect on the epidemiology of covid.”

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CLICK TO ENLARGE: Jersey's rate of covid transmission barely dropped when schools were closed.

A government spokesperson assured that schools will update parents on any specific opening arrangements before the start of the new term.

They added: "Schools will be working differently from September, under Public Health advice, with staggered starts, different break arrangements, and ‘bubble’ arrangements for classes and year groups. 

“Further information will be issued towards the end of the summer holiday to confirm the covid-19 situation at that time.” ​

The spokesman added that Public Health England report would be considered once it is published later this year.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Yes schools go back fully but not in school uniform,as uniform will have to be washed constantly.
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