Following an increase in COVID cases in young people across the borough, Solihull’s Director of Public Health Ruth Tennant, has advised secondary school head teachers to reintroduce face coverings for pupils in Year 7 upwards in lessons and in communal areas.
There have been 305 new cases of COVID in the most recent seven days and our local rate is now 141 per 100,000 compared to 12 per 100,000 a month ago. Rates have increased quickly in the 11-16 and 17-18 age groups.
The increase in rates has been caused by the Delta strain which spreads very quickly and has resulted in some schools having to send bubbles home and put in place on-line teaching.
Ruth Tennant, Director of Public Health at Solihull Council, explained:
“For the last few weeks of this school term I am working with our school leaders to reduce the disruption that the Delta variant is causing to children’s education.
“As more adults from 18 upwards get vaccinated and more have two doses, the situation will improve, as we know the vaccine is working well. However, I have advised secondary schools to re-introduce face coverings from today for pupils in Year 7 upwards in lessons and in communal areas (e.g. corridors) as a short-term measure.
“I’ve also requested that transition days (where pupils moving from primary to secondary visit their new school) should be held online, unless there are specific reasons why a child needs to visit the school in person, in which case we will support schools, parents and carers to do this safely.
“Alongside these measures we need all secondary aged pupils and their family members to keep up twice weekly-testing. Most importantly, I’d encourage everyone to get two doses of vaccination through the many sites offering this in Solihull and Birmingham which are updated daily
“The Council has also revised its financial support for those who need to self-isolate. Anyone who earns below £26,000 and faces a loss of income is now eligible."