Covid-19 positivity rates among primary and secondary aged children have remained largely static since the return of pupils to schools 4 weeks ago, according to the latest data.

Evidence presented at yesterday's Downing Street coronavirus press conference shows the Covid-19 positivity rate for 5 to 10 year olds between 18 and 24 September stood at 1.5%, slightly lower than for the first week of September when pupils in England began to head back to school.

Similarly, the positivity rate for 11 to 14 year olds has fallen from just over 2.5% in early September to 2.2% last week. For 15 to 16 year olds, the rate is currently 3.8%, slightly up on the first week of September. 

This is despite positivity rates among adults in all age groups and teenagers aged 17 and over having risen since the start of September. The positivity rate is the proportion of positive Covid-19 tests out of all of those carried out.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "These figures show that, despite the return of pupils to primary and secondary education last month, there hasn’t been a dramatic spike in the number of positive infections recorded among 5 to 16 year olds in England. This is reflected in our local data too.

"Parents and carers should feel further reassured by the fact that, where we have seen confirmed Covid-19 cases in local schools, these have generally been infections acquired in the community, rather than within school.

“That’s testament to the hard work our city’s schools have been doing to be as Covid-secure as they can be, and the steps that they are taking, with the support of the council and Public Health England, in response to cases as and when cases are confirmed.

"Please remember that attendance in school is now mandatory, unless pupils or someone in their household develops symptoms of Covid-19, in which case they should self isolate and book a test as soon as possible.

“I would urge parents, carers and pupils to continue doing all they can to help keep their school Covid secure by following the Hands, Face, Space guidance, observing social distancing and wearing face coverings where required. I’d also encourage people with compatible smartphones to download the new NHS Covid-19 app so they can play their part in supporting the Test and Trace programme.”

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) or calling 119.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. For details of the local Covid-19 measures which came into force last week, please visit Local restrictions in Wolverhampton. For more information about the NHS Covid-19 app, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Assets and Videos - NHS COVID-19 mobile app