Reading schools 'may need extra Covid measures'

Parents have been sent a letter outlining possible measures, such as extra testing.
Photo of lateral flow test by Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Extra measures may be introduced in Reading schools after the October half term to tackle rising cases of Covid in students, according to a letter sent out to parents on 22 October.

Just over half of Reading’s Covid positive cases have been in the under-18 age group, according to public health data covering 6th-19th October.

‘It is likely that cases will remain high after the half-term break, and we will be working with schools over the coming week to review whether any additional measures will be needed as schools return in November. This could mean changes to events such as inter-school activities and larger events where many pupils come together, including mixed group assemblies, or increasing how often pupils undertake lateral flow testing.’
— Deborah Glassbrook, executive director of children’s services at Brighter Futures for Children and Meradin Peachey, Director of Public Health at Reading Borough Council.

Covid cases in the borough are now at their highest since January 2021 but related deaths are thankfully low.

Cases are also very high nationally but the government says currently it has no plans to return to restrictions like mandatory facemasks and instead is encouraging more people to get vaccinated.

Over the half term, parents are urged to carry on testing children aged 11 and over twice a week with lateral flow tests (if they have no symptoms) or to organise a PCR test if children show symptoms.

RBC leader Jason Brock also told residents on 21 October to continue testing, get vaccinated and ‘to wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitiser, and continue to wear face coverings, particularly in enclosed spaces where people are close together’.

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