Thousands more Newcastle pupils to get tested

Thousands more peoples in Newcastle schools are to be tested for Covid-19, after a surge in cases in the area.

An extra 5,000 PCR tests are being deployed in six schools from today, to test around 10,000 pupils and staff in the area. Students from Newcastle College and Keele University are also being asked to go to their nearest government testing centre for a test.

Already, 4,000 pupils in 14 other schools have been asked to get a PCR test in the area, along with 900 school staff.

The testing is an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19, which has seen cases soar in recent weeks. Cases currently stand at 104 per 100k, with most cases being seen in the 11-34 age group. 

Most of these cases are the more-transmissible Delta Variant of Concern, and every effort is being made to track down and isolate any further cases.

Dr Richard Harling, Director for Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council said: “We have seen tremendous efforts from our schools in the past week to encourage all pupils and staff to get testing, with nearly 3,000 have done so. We need to keep this going, and ensure we test as many pupils and staff as possible to find out Covid-19 cases, isolate them and their contacts, and prevent any further spread of the virus.

Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Health and Integrated Care said: “We have seen how quickly this Delta variant can spread, so catching cases early and stopping the spread in its tracks is vital if we are to keep case numbers low. It just goes to show that Covid-19 is very much still with us, and we need to continue to follow the basic rules around hands, face, space and fresh air if we are to stop any further spread.”