Wakefield Council says pupils returning to school should be tested regularly for Covid-19

School pupils should be tested for Covid-19 regularly as schools reopen, Wakefield Council has said.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 5:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 5:47 pm

Children are returning to the classroom following almost 18 months’ of disruption caused by the pandemic.

But despite school environments returning to normal – with ‘bubbles’ and social distancing restrictions removed – cases remain high across the district and parents and pupils are being encouraged to continue the amazing work seen to date to help reduce the spread of Covid.

Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council’s director of public health, said: “We have been delighted with the dedication and commitment of everyone across the district, playing their part in driving down infections in these difficult times through regular testing and getting vaccinated.

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"The return of pupils to school is a key point in our ongoing journey towards recovery and if we can keep going with another major push for ongoing testing and vaccination then this will no doubt help lead to a brighter future for us all.

“We encourage children to come into school to take their first tests in-person and then to continue testing twice a week from home. We will continue to work closely with schools to ensure that all children can get back to the classroom and enjoy learning with less interruptions.

“We also encourage all children eligible for the vaccine to get their jabs when offered. Alongside testing, this will help to keep children in the classroom and their families safe.”

Coun Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I know the return to school and college this September is a huge moment for students and education staff, who have all shown enormous resilience over the past 18 months. It is the point when our focus can shift away from the disruption of Covid-19 and on to learning, enrichment and recovery.

“I have every confidence that school and college staff, parents and students will continue to work together admirably, following pragmatic measures like testing and vaccinations to minimise disruption and keep children where they belong – in the classroom.”

A national ‘Back to School’ campaign is being backed by Matt Richards, gold medal-winning swimmer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, who draws on his own experience of regular Covid-19 testing as part of Team GB to encourage secondary and college students to continue testing from September.

He said: “Regular testing was essential then and still is now to ensure everyone is kept safe and not spreading the virus. The same goes for school. Make sure you test before you go back, and twice weekly - even if you don’t have symptoms - so you can get back to the things you love like competitive sports and school matches.”

For further information about Covid-19 testing, visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information/getting-a-covid-19-test.