Posted on Monday 21st June 2021
Pupils in 14 Newcastle schools are being asked to get tested for Covid-19 after a surge in cases in the area.
Testing of thousands of secondary and primary schools gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday) in a bid to tackle the rise and stop any further spread in its tracks.
Older pupils will be testing in school over the next few days, with kits sent home with younger pupils.
Year 11 and 13 pupils who have already left school are also being contacted and urged to go to their local government testing centre.
More than 3,000 pupils in total will asked to complete a PCR test, and school staff numbering in their hundreds are also being asked to get tested.
Cases of Covid-19 in Newcastle have rocketed over the past week to 91 per 100,000 population, the highest rate in Staffordshire. Most of the cases are being seen in the 11-34 age bracket.
On the other hand, testing rates in the borough are the lowest in the county.
People are also being encouraged to continue to get regular, twice-weekly lateral flow tests, which can be collected at local testing centres, pharmacies, libraries or national testing sites.
Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council said:
“We’re seeing the biggest rise in cases amongst the 11-34 age group, which is why we’re implementing school PCR testing in the areas where we’ve seen the most cases. Tests will be carried out either in school or at home, depending on the age of the pupil.
I would urge everyone in the area to take up the offer of a PCR test—testing is the best way we can discover more cases, isolate these, and stop any further spread. I would also urge anyone aged 18 and above to take up the offer of a vaccine as soon as they can.”
Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Health and Integrated Care:
“As we’ve seen recently with Leek, testing is key to finding new cases, isolating them, and preventing any further spread. Our schools and parents have been fantastic so far, and their help in testing pupils and stopping the spread has made all the difference. We need to keep this going over the next week if we are to make an impact on cases.”
Note to editors
The 14 schools helping to test pupils are:
Kidsgrove High School
The Kings C of E School
The Orme Academy
Crackley Bank Primary School
Chesterton Primary School
St Chad’s Primary School
Springhead Primary School
Churchfields Primary School
The Coppice Special School
Blackfriars Special School
Cedars Pupil Referral Unit