Calderdale schools facing Covid-19 dilemma over Christmas fairs, shows and nativities

Calderdale Council Director of Public Health Deborah HarkinsCalderdale Council Director of Public Health Deborah Harkins
Calderdale Council Director of Public Health Deborah Harkins
Extra Covid-19 safety measures for Calderdale schools may mean difficult decisions about whether to invite parents in for festive fairs and nativities over the coming weeks.

Calderdale Council is continuing to advise schools to follow the guidance it issued last month, which includes limiting visitors and considering holding events online, rather than face-to-face.

The advice was prompted by alarming rates of Covid-19 among children and increased pressure on health services.

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The council says rates of coronavirus cases in kids have dropped, resulting in a “significant” increase in school attendance, since the guidance was issued.

It is reviewing the extra measures every two weeks but, with a high demand on health and social care continuing, the advice is staying in place for now.

Director for Public Health, Deborah Harkins, said: “The overall case rate in the borough is stable at around 250 per 100,000 and local health and care services are still experiencing high demand.

“The positive impact on attendance and pressures on health and care services have led us to recommend that schools continue to follow the existing advice around the use of additional measures

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“The advice is being reviewed fortnightly and schools will continue to consider their own situation and implement the most appropriate measures for their setting.

“Individual schools are also carrying out careful assessments of their own festive activities and working hard to ensure that the season can be enjoyed safely. The council continues to support schools in their decision making and offers advice to help keep children and staff as safe as possible.”

Parents are being asked to keep children at home for three to five days if anyone in their household tests positive for Covid-19. They should then take a PCR test and only return if the result is negative.