Posted on Thursday 24th June 2021
Thousands more pupils in Newcastle will be tested after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the area.
Pupils from six schools, plus students at Newcastle College and Keele University, are being asked to get a PCR test in a bid to discover more cases and stop any further spread of the virus.
An extra 5,000 tests will be deployed in the area from Monday of next week specifically for schools. It is estimated that around 10,000 pupils and staff will be tested in total.
Students at Keele University and Newcastle College will be asked to book a slot at their nearest local testing centre.
The testing blitz comes after a Covid-19 cases have rocketed in the area, with the majority now considered to be the Delta Variant of Concern. Cases now stand at 102 per 100k, with most cases being seen in the 11-34 age group.
Already, 3,800 pupils in 14 schools have been asked to get a test in the area, with 2,300 completing these tests so far. Around 900 school staff have also been for testing at a local testing site.
Dr Richard Harling Director for Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council said:
“It’s clear that Covid-19 cases in the area are still rising, and with the Delta Variant being 40% more transmissible, we need to do everything we can to stop this transmission which is occurring amongst younger age groups.
“I would ask parents to support our testing bid and encourage their child to get tested – we have seen a great amount of cooperation from schools, parents and pupils so far, and we need to keep this going if we are to get a grip on this and drive case numbers down.”
Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care said:
“These extra tests will mean that around 10,000 school pupils and staff will now be offered a test, and I would encourage them all to take it. I would also encourage all of those aged 18 or over to take up the offer of a vaccination as soon as they can.”
The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said:
“We’ve seen that increased testing in schools and communities has brought down the case numbers in Staffordshire Moorlands and we hope that we can do the same in Newcastle and Kidsgrove. I would ask parents to encourage testing for their youngsters and also book their own vaccination as soon as they can, if they haven’t already.”