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Covid rates in young people expected to rise as they return to schools in Suffolk



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Public Health Suffolk says it expects Covid-19 case numbers among youngsters to increase again as schools return from the Christmas break.

Advice has also been issued asking pupils to test twice a week - even if they have had a positive Covid test in the 90 days prior.

Regular testing for school-aged youngsters is resuming as pupils return to the classroom, with some schools doing supervised testing and others requiring pupils to do the tests at home.

Public Health Suffolk says it expects Covid-19 case numbers among youngsters to increase again as schools return from the Christmas break. Picture: iStock
Public Health Suffolk says it expects Covid-19 case numbers among youngsters to increase again as schools return from the Christmas break. Picture: iStock

Stuart Keeble, director of public health in Suffolk, told Thursday's meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting of police, council and health chiefs that with the five-19 year-olds 'the rates haven't increased as fast or gone up the same as the adult age group'.

"That is partly because children have been off school and before breaking up they would have been doing regular testing, so I expect those rates to increase again," he said.

"That won't necessarily be just children going back to school but more testing will take place."

Advice has also been issued asking pupils to test twice a week - even if they have had a positive Covid test in the 90 days prior. Picture: iStock
Advice has also been issued asking pupils to test twice a week - even if they have had a positive Covid test in the 90 days prior. Picture: iStock

He continued: "Another important change is previously national policy said that if you have had Covid in the last 90 days you don't regularly need to have an LFD [lateral flow device] test.

"The recommendation I think is sensible because of the change from Delta to Omicron is that actually children are encouraged even if they have had a positive test in the last 90 days to have a lateral flow test twice a week.

"With the change of the protection that might not be provided by Delta means you could still go on to develop Omicron, so I think the encouragement is that children should continue to lateral flow test."

In addition, health bosses have confirmed that schools and parents this week are receiving information on the school vaccine programme, which commences again from next week that will allow youngsters to get their jabs in school.

However, for those pupils who are not able to be jabbed when the service is in their school, bookings can be made online for slots at community vaccination sites such as the large centres or pharmacies as normal.