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Coronavirus ‘situations’ in almost 30 schools, but staff praised for preventing outbreaks

PUBLISHED: 16:46 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 02 October 2020

Many schools have had to send pupils home due to positive coronavirus tests. Picture: PA Images

Many schools have had to send pupils home due to positive coronavirus tests. Picture: PA Images

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Almost 30 schools in Norfolk are dealing with coronavirus ‘situations’, but the county’s director of public health has praised staff for helping prevent outbreaks.

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella WilkinsonLouise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

While 27 schools currently have confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases and groups of children have been told to self-isolate, there have not been any outbreaks.

An outbreak is defined when two or more infections are linked to the same place.

And Dr Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council, said the rapid action of schools - which has included asking year groups to isolate - had helped prevent them.

Dr Smith said: “At the moment, we are managing quite a large number of situations in schools across the county - about 27 in total have a case or a situation.

“At the moment, we are not managing any outbreaks, we are not seeing spread in schools.

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“There’s a number of reasons for that. The first is that the schools have put in huge amounts of work and effort and those arrangements are really helping and working - the school bubbles, for example.

“They really do help to interrupt the risk of spread.

“And, all of the data, both locally and nationally, is showing that schools are actually quite low-risk for the transmission of the virus and that we are more concerned about our frail and vulnerable population.”

Schools which have taken action due to coronavirus cases include Snettisham Primary School, Litcham School, Springwood High School in King’s Lynn, Wymondham High Academy, Arden Grove Infant School in Hellesdon and Yarmouth’s Catch-22 school.

However, there have been outbreaks at care homes, however. There are currently 28 care homes where the county council is helping to manage incidents, with 14 of them defined as outbreaks.

She said: “Again, like schools we are managing a large number of situations and small scale outbreaks - that’s two or fewer cases - across the care homes.”

People in Great Yarmouth are being urged to take extra care, amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the borough.

But Dr Smith said those cases involved working age adults, not children. She said: “This is not about spread in schools, this is about adults in the general community.”


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