Parents and pupils are being urged to do all they can to help their school stay Covid-secure.
Schools across the city have reopened to all pupils for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March – with a raft of measures in place to ensure they are as safe as possible, including enhanced cleaning regimes, 'bubbles' and staggered start and finish times.
Pupils and parents can help out by adhering to the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ guidelines. Children must wash their hands more often and use hand sanitiser, and pupils and parents are asked to keep two metres away from anyone who is not a member of their household, or their household or school bubble. Parents and carers are also encouraged to consider wearing face coverings when they are dropping off and collecting their children.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "We have been working closely with the city's schools to help them be as safe as they possibly can. It's great to see that so many children and young people have been able to return to education and that, where there have been cases of Covid-19 among members of the school population, the schools have responded quickly in partnership with public health, with bubbles self-isolating so that the rest of the school can continue to function. Preventing the spread of Covid-19 will help protect friends and family, including those who are at higher risk such as older people or those with certain underlying health conditions. Everyone has a role to play in this. In particular, I would ask parents and carers to do all you can to maintain social distancing when you are dropping off or picking up children from school, and to leave the school premises as soon as you have done this – please arrive at your allocated time and don't wait around for any longer than you need to. Please also consider wearing a face covering when you are on the school run.
"And children, please think about your loved ones. Wash your hands more often, wear a face covering where required, and make sure you stay in your class or year group bubble at all times, because the more people you meet, the more chance there is for you to accidently spread the virus."
If a child or someone they live with develops symptoms of Covid-19 – a fever, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of taste or smell – they should self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Anyone who would like support booking a test can call the council’s Book a Test Team on 01902 290244 weekdays between 9am and 4pm. No-one in the family should attend school, but they should stay in contact with the school at this time.
Latest data shows there were 36.26 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the seven days up to 7 September, compared to 10.29 for the seven days to 31 August.
The Government has announced that gatherings of more than six people will be illegal from Monday (14 September). However, this does not apply to schools and educational settings.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind.