Two further Thanet schools, and one in Sandwich which has isle students, have notified parents and carers of positive covid cases resulting in year bubbles needing to isolate.
At Upton Junior School in Broadstairs parents with children in one of the two Year 6 bubbles – around 64 pupils – have received a message for their youngsters to stay at home until midnight on November 19 following one confirmed positive test in the school community.
At King Ethelbert in Birchington a message has been sent to parents/carers to say a Year 7 pupil has tested positive and students that have had close contact in that year bubble have been asked to isolate until November 23. It is understood students in Year 12 have also been asked to isolate.
At Sandwich Tech Year 8 students are being asked to isolate after a confirmed positive result for a pupil. The year group will not return to school until November 20.
A further message to parents this weekend has come from St George’s school and says a pupil from another school has tested positive for Covid but had used the 943 Stagecoach bus (Cliffsend to Dane Court and St Georges). The message says: “If your child travelled on the 943 bus on Thursday or Friday of last week then we have been advised that they must self isolate for 14 days.”
Manor House Nursery School in Margate has also posted to facebook to inform parents of a staff member testing positive for the virus. However, the affected person has not been at the nursery since November 2.
The message says: “We have just been informed that a member of staff in the pre-school room has today, tested positive for Covid 19. The staff member has not been in nursery since Tuesday 2nd November.
“Please try not to worry, the evidence suggests that there is a very low risk of children becoming unwell from Covid 19. We have attempted to get in touch with Public Health England and they are currently closed.
“We have made the decision to close the pre-school bubble until we have received advice from Public Health. We will be making phone calls to all pre-school parents as soon as we have the information from Public Health in the morning.”
The schools are just the latest in a long line that have had to put self-isolation plans in place after students or staff confirmed positive tests.
Others that have been affected since schools fully reopened in September include Chatham & Clarendon, Northdown, Hartsdown, Newington, Royal Harbour Academy, Minster primary, Bromstone, Dame Janet Primary in Ramsgate, Garlinge primary, St Anthony’s School, Ellington infants, Dane Court, Cliftonville primary, St George’s CofE and St Ethelbert’s primary.
With the enactment of national covid restrictions, in Year 7 and above face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils – unless exempt – when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.
Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary school or college.
Government dashboard data
Today’s (November 8) figures on the government coronavirus dashboard show 54 new cases reported for Thanet, making a total of 379 between November 2-8. This is a rise of 138 on the figure for the previous seven days.
The seven-day rolling rate of infection up to November 3 for Thanet is 220.5 per 100,000 residents. The total number of people in Thanet who have had a confirmed positive test result as of 8 November was 1,826.
Thanet has suffered 119 deaths within 28 days of a positive covid test reported up until November 8 and 163 (week ending October 23) where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate as one of the causes. These are people who have Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate, meaning that it may not be the primary cause of death.
For the UK there have been 20,572 positive tests confirmed for today and 157,102 over the last seven days – down 4,013 on the number for the previous seven days. The seven day infection rate up to November 3 was 236.8 per 100,000 residents.
Factors affecting infection rates
Kent Public Health previously said rising covid infection rates recorded in Thanet are mainly in workplace settings and care settings but also some household clusters.
Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC Director of Public Health previously said: “There are variations in current rates across the county and we are seeing a rise in cases locally and nationally so it is really important that residents play their part to help protect themselves and others, particularly the most vulnerable members of the community who are most at risk from severe symptoms, and continue to follow the national guidelines.
“There are a range of factors which could affect the infection rate of the virus in a particular area. These could include the age and density of the population, number of hospitals and care homes, the levels of testing both in the community and hospital plus the numbers of commuters travelling to and from London.
“We are continuing to work with our partners across Kent, including Public Health England local health protection teams and the NHS, to monitor where cases are occurring and whether there are larger widespread community outbreaks.
“There is more testing available across the county and anyone experiencing Covid symptoms should self-isolate immediately and book a test. It is vital that the wider community in Kent continues to play its part and if you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, then you should follow the guidance given to self-isolate.
“We also appeal to people to remember social distancing, regular handwashing and wearing a mask in public places to help keep the number of cases as low as possible. You can now also download the NHS Test and Trace app.”
For more information go to www.kent.gov.uk/kentprotect