Latest figures show there were 117 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 27 June. That means 308 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be more.
But the infection rate amongst 10 to 19 year olds is even higher, with 208 cases per 100,000 10 to 14 year olds and 181.3 cases per 100,000 15 to 19 year olds last week. A total of 36 city schools have reported that they currently have one or more confirmed cases within their school population.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Our schools are continuing to work hard to keep themselves Covid secure – but with infection rates rising right across the city, particularly among younger residents, it is inevitable that more cases will be identified among the school population.
“We are in discussion with Public Health England and the Department for Education with regard to any additional measures which may be required between now and the end of term, but in the meantime we are strongly encouraging people to redouble their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
“We ask that staff and secondary school pupils continue to wear face coverings in communal areas and avoid the mixing of bubbles as much as possible, and for parents and carers to practice social distancing and wear face coverings when they are on the school run.
“And, if they haven’t already done so, anyone aged 18 and over should now book their life saving Covid-19 vaccine by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines or calling 119.
"We are also asking pupils or staff members who are either off sick or become unwell in school to get a Covid-19 PCR test by visiting NHS - Coronavirus (COVID-19) or by calling 119 – whether or not they have one of the usual symptoms of coronavirus. They must then self isolate while they await the result.
"In addition, secondary pupils should continue to have a twice weekly rapid Covid-19 test, either using a home test kit or at one of our test centres. If this comes back positive, they must book a confirmatory PCR test. We'd also ask family members to get a rapid test twice a week to make sure they haven’t got the virus. Please remember that whatever your result, you must register it.
"If everyone plays their part, we can stop the spread of this virus and help keep our schools as Covid-secure as possible."
Anyone aged 18 or over, as well as secondary school pupils and college students, can get a free rapid test if they don't have symptoms of Covid-19. Testing is available at walk through sites at the Civic Centre, The Hub at Ashmore Park and the Jamia Masjid Bilal, while free home test kits are also available from the Civic Centre, The Hub at Ashmore Park, PCR test centres, the mobile Covid-19 test unit, Bilston Market, Wolverhampton Market, WV Active leisure centres, Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre and local pharmacies offering the Pharmacy Collect service (details at Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests).
Local schools are also acting as distribution hubs for the kits. Anyone in the local community can collect their free kits from Northwood Park Primary School (10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday), Rakegate Primary School (11am to 3.30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays), Smestow School (9am to 3pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays), Oak Meadow Primary School (11am to noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays), St Jude’s CE Primary School (2pm to 3.30pm, Wednesdays), Trinity CE Primary School (2pm to 3.30pm, Wednesdays) and Bilston CE Primary School (8.30am to noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Meanwhile, members of the school community, including parents and guardians, are invited to collect test kits from St Luke's Primary School (8.45am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday), West Park Primary School (10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday), Warstones Primary School (2 to 3pm, Mondays and Thursdays) and The Royal School (8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).
More information on rapid testing, including advice about how to take the test at home, is available at Lateral Flow Home Test Kits. PCR tests can be booked at Coronavirus (COVID-19) or by calling 119.