Fears for primary school children as 21 kids in one school contract coronavirus

Matt Hancock reveals rise in number of people with antibodies

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Cardiff council confirmed that 21 pupils at Pontprennau Primary School have tested positive for coronavirus. Three members of staff and 80 pupils from reception and nursery year groups have been told to self-isolate after they were identified as contacts of the confirmed cases. WalesOnline reports a further 29 pupils and two members of staff are self-isolating at another Cardiff primary school after there was another positive Covid case there.

A spokesman for the council said that both schools were working closely with Public Health Wales and the council to ensure that all protocols and processes are being followed correctly.

The spokesman said: “Contact bubbles are in place ensuring that pupils outside the relevant contact groups are able to continue to attend school as planned without further disruption to face-to-face learning.”

The 21 cases at Pontprennau Primary School are across two contact bubbles meaning that the rest of the school is still open.

In Wales, younger pupils aged three to seven went back to school on February 22. Older primary children and those in secondary school exam years returned on March 15.

The news from the Welsh school has raised fears schools are a breeding ground for Covid.

One reader told WalesOnline: “Schools have always been the problem. Government knows this and always has! Keeping schools closed will cost them votes. Much easier to blame the public for not social distancing, It’s not rocket science!”

Another said: “Unfortunately I can see another spike in cases as happened last time they went back to school. Difficult to ensure that four and five year olds social distance.”

In England, all schools for all ages reopened on March 8. Children’s activity groups were also able to resume from that day.

Schools have re-opened with new, stricter guidance on safety measures. Staff should wear masks in primary schools, including in the classroom, whenever they cannot socially distance from children.

In secondary schools, staff and pupils should wear masks anywhere on school premises where they cannot socially distance, including classrooms.

Rapid testing using Lateral Flow Covid tests will also be used to identify people who are infectious but are not displaying symptoms.

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Government ministers across the country have insisted that schools are safe and not necessarily places of transmission. They have urged parents and carers not to mingle at school gates or let their children socialise outside school to reduce the risk of infection.

Government advice also states that children are as likely as adults to become infected with Covid, but infection in children is usually mild.

Children who have been classed as extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions are advised to shield and are not expected to return to school or college.

Additional reporting by Abbie Wightwick.

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