Posted: Tue 6th Oct 2020

Pupils from 13 Flintshire schools currently self isolating following number of confirmed COVID-19 cases

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2020

Pupils from 13 schools in Flintshire are currently self-isolating as a precaution following a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

They include year 7’s at Connah’s Quay High School, the year 3 group at Bryn Deva, Year 7’s at Elfed School Buckley and year 11’s at Mold Alun.

Pupils at Mold Alun who use the dedicated ZS08 school bus service from Shotton and Connah’s Quay were told on Monday not to attend school today although the details around the reason why have not been disclosed.

Pupils from seven schools in the county have now returned to school having self-isolated, they include Ewloe Green, Sealand and Sandycroft primary schools.

Flintshire County Council said in a statement today it is “working with partner organisations, is taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among young people in the county, as transmission of the virus is still increasing.”

“This is why local “lockdown” restrictions have been introduced in four North Wales’ counties, including Flintshire.” The statement says.

Public Health Wales has reported another 40 positive COVID-19 cases in the Flintshire local authority area today, the rolling 7-day average has now increased to 101.9 per 100,000 people, over double the rate it was last Wednesday.

Flintshire went into a local lockdown on Thursday in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

Public Health Wales said since 1 September, a total of 298 pupils and 279 staff had received a positive Covid-19 test result from 344 schools across Wales.

But with roughly 1,500 schools in total – which includes primaries, middle, secondary, independent and special schools – the vast majority have recorded zero cases, according to the BBC. 

The council has said if any pupil tests positive, “there is a strong probability, particularly in secondary schools, that the entire school year will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

The extent of the group asked to self-isolate will depend on the individual school’s organisational plans, the building layout and to what extent pupils have been able to be kept separate during the school day, and staff availability.”

“The Council works closely with Public Health Wales to review the number of potential contacts of the pupil who has tested positive to decide who needs to self-isolate.” Todays statement says.

“Sometimes, information about positive test outcomes can be received late in the evening or over a weekend, so, in the first instance, it is sensible to take a cautious approach and ask the entire cohort to self-isolate to ensure pupil safety.

There is then the opportunity to review the situation and the movements of the pupil who has tested positive to see if it is possible to reduce the numbers of pupils having to self-isolate. There has to be certainty that there has not been the opportunity for cross-contamination before relaxing any advice.

The minimisation of the transmission of the virus and the safety of the community has to take priority.

We know that this is the safest way to approach this virus which is so easily transmitted.  Self- isolating only a small number of pupils could exacerbate the spread further.” The local authority has said.

Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Claire Homard, said:

“Schools have full risk assessments in place and are taking stringent precautions to protect both staff and students. They also have plans ready to switch pupils who cannot attend school onto their digital learning platforms to ensure continuity of education.

“It is impossible for schools to monitor what students do outside of school time. It is therefore important for parents and carers to know where their children are and what they are doing.  They should be no mixing with friends who attend different schools, for example. We ask for the support of parents and carers in this to reduce the spread of the virus and the impact on schools.”

Schools remain open and the Council is working closely with the schools affected, Public Health Wales and NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect to ensure appropriate measures are in place.

The current situation with regards to pupils self-isolating in Flintshire as of October 6

Parents and carers are being asked to remain alert for the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  • A new or continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

Those advised to self-isolate should book a coronavirus test if they develop any of these symptoms, even if they are mild. A test can be booked by phoning 119 or online: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test

Advice requires those self-isolating to stay at home, not to go outdoors to exercise, to visit shops, family or friends, or to other public spaces.

Further formation on Test, Trace, Protect can be found here https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-coronavirus

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