Coronavirus: Rapid fall in Covid cases for Sheffield secondary schools - with some of lowest rates in Yorkshire

Sheffield secondary schools have some of the lowest rates of Covid in Yorkshire.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:07 pm
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 1:37 pm

Director of public health Greg Fell says rates in secondary school children are coming down rapidly, helped by October half term which acted as a circuit break.

Just over half of 16 to 17-year-olds have had the vaccine, while 24 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds have been jabbed.

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Sheffield director of public health Greg Fell says rates in secondary school children are coming down rapidly

Mr Fell told a scrutiny meeting: “Along with the vaccination programme, a significant number of kids have had Covid now so there’s a reasonable chunk of immunity in that population.

“We’re seeing a downward slope in secondary school aged children that is quite a rapid fall.

“We’re working hard to maximise the number of days in school because education has been messed up enough.

“All schools are low risk settings and we continue as a city to have lower school aged rates than the rest of the South Yorkshire and most of West Yorkshire.”

Why do Sheffield secondary schools have low Covid rates?

Mr Fell said Sheffield had been managing outbreaks really carefully over recent weeks and to date had not seen the disruption that other areas were encountering.

“That hasn’t happened by magic, it’s because lots of us have worked really hard, including schools who have done an amazing job to manage outbreaks and to manage Covid risk in their settings.

“We’ve got a well developed and pretty robust approach to managing outbreaks when they occur. The number of outbreaks is diminishing really quite fast at the moment as is the number of cases.

“This reaffirms our position and reassures that the priority should remain for face to face education.”

Mr Fell said the number of children becoming seriously ill from Covid was ‘low to negligible’.

“In order, the groups we are worried about most in terms of vaccination are those adults, particularly older adults, that haven’t had their first and second jabs and then boosters.

“Children’s vaccination is last on my priority list as the purpose of vaccination is to save lives.”

If there is a positive case in a household, secondary age children should do daily lateral flow tests while they are awaiting their PCR result.