Appeal to parents as cases of coronavirus rise again
CORONAVIRUS cases are on the rise in the Emersons Green area, with 21 positive test results reported in the space of a week.
Official figures for the week to September 16, the most recent available as the Voice went to print, showed three new cases in the Office for National Statistics' Staple Hill North area, five in Downend South, four in Mangotsfield, three in Emersons Green and six in Pucklechurch and Westerleigh.
The ONS divides the country into areas with equal populations of 7,200 and only flags numbers of cases above two, so lists the Downend North, Frenchay & Great Stoke and Staple Hill South & Kingswood North West areas as having "0-2" cases.
The figures are in contrast to a month ago, when there had been no new cases in the whole of South Gloucestershire between August 11 and 18.
In total, since the outbreak of the pandemic, there have been 945 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Glos – an infection rate of 332.2 per 100,000 people – with 171 deaths reported with the virus. The number of confirmed cases had risen by 148 in South Glos compared with four weeks earlier.
In Bristol there have been 1,694 cases – an infection rate of 365.6 per 100,000 population – and 254 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The overall infection rate for England is 603.9 per 100,000, from 339,901 cases.
There was one death with Covid-19 in South Gloucestershire in the four weeks to September 4, and two deaths in Bristol over the same period.
The most recent figures for deaths in each ONS area go up to the end of July and show that during that month, no one in the Downend, Staple Hill, Mangotsfield, Emersons Green or Frenchay areas had died with Covid-19.
Parents have been urged to continue sending children to schools where no cases of the virus are confirmed or suspected, while South Gloucestershire Council has confirmed action will continue to be taken where a pupil is “absent without good reason”.
As the Voice went to print, two schools in the district have sent pupils in year group 'bubbles' home to self-isolate: Kings’ Forest Primary School in Kingswood, where 28 pupils were sent home on September 10 after a child in Year 1 tested positive, and Culverhill special school in Yate where 71 children in years 7, 8 and 9 were advised to stay at home from September 15 after a pupil in Year 8 reported symptoms and later tested positive.
A council spokesperson said: “We know that our trusts and schools have worked exceptionally hard to put in place measures to ensure the safety of our children and young people.
“We are asking our schools to work with parents, carers and communities in achieving the successful return.
“If parents and carers have any concerns, we do ask that they liaise directly with trusts and schools and are confident in the assurances they will be offering."
South Gloucestershire is the first local authority in the country to adopt a “Recovery Curriculum”, which aims to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on their learning experience.
Most schools in the distruct are using the framework, which attracted the interest of the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and prompted a meeting with local MPs.