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Schools are being ‘strongly advised’ to delay opening as the virus is spreading

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Schools are being “strongly advised” not to admit more pupils and delay the wider reopening, as fresh data shows that coronavirus is spreading fast in the North of England.

Public Health England (PHE) have teamed up with Cambridge University and analysis has found the North West has the highest reproduction rate of coronavirus in Britain.

The R value which is the reproduction rate of coronavirus has now reached 1.01, anything above 1 means the virus is rapidly infecting people, which means the North West of England will become the new epicentre.

The director of PHE Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy of Thameside Council has ordered schools to not reopen “until there is further assurance,” as the R value is worryingly high.

Nursery and primary schools were due to reopen, but Dr Gruchy has warned school governors, “Because of this change in R, and despite the excellent work undertaken.

“I am therefore strongly advising all schools and childcare settings to delay wider opening until at least 22 June for us to be more assured that the rate of infection is reducing, and R is firmly below 1.”

Bury Council in Manchester have also informed school governors to “reconsider” reopening plans for more pupils at schools.

Scientists at UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have given a stark warning, that sending all children back to school in September, could trigger a more deadly and far larger second wave in December.

Last week, parents of children at a primary school in Bradford were told to self-isolate as two pupils tested positive for coronavirus hours after the school reopened.

At another school seven staff members at the Aboretum Primary School, in Derby also closed their doors shortly after reopening, after they tested positive for the virus.

Despite fierce opposition from teaching unions over 80% of schools reopened across London, it has also been revealed that three out of four school governors said it is unlikely they will reopen before the summer.




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