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Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire coronavirus infection rates all falling fast as parents could be asked to Covid test children for school return

Posted on - 18th February, 2021 - 8:55pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Signs of spring in Ashton Park taken on Wednesday 17 February Pic: Tony Worrall
Signs of spring in Ashton Park taken on Wednesday 17 February Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s coronavirus infection rate is continuing to fall as proposals emerge for parents to test their children for Covid during any return for schools.

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New confirmed cases for Preston on Thursday (18 February) were 57, the second day the city has seen the most new cases in Lancashire.

South Ribble saw 28 new Covid-19 cases for the same day.

Wyre saw 29 new cases and Fylde recorded 12.

Chorley recorded 22 and Ribble Valley saw 14 new cases.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information

Infection rates for Preston are now at 213.1 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 14, down from 343 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 7. Preston is now just within the top 20 infection rates in England.

Data for the most recent four days (February 15-18) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

South Ribble’s infection rate is now 177.8, down from 285.2 for the same two date periods as Preston.

Chorley is at 176.8, down from 211.5 and Wyre is at 114.2, down from 164.2.

Ribble Valley’s infection rate is 154.4, down from 179 and Chorley is now 176.8, down from 211.5.

Read more: Doctors warn of missed lung cancer cases in Lancashire due to Covid cough assumption

Covid testing of pupils at schools

Reports have surfaced claiming parents could be asked to test their children twice-a-week for Covid.

The government has said it is looking at how coronavirus testing of pupils could help the return to school.

Health minister Helen Whately, asked about the Telegraph’s report that parents of secondary school children will be asked to administer rapid flow tests during term time, said: “I’m not going to get drawn into that.”

But she went on during a Radio 4 Today programme interview: “There is work in progress looking at how testing can support schools to come back.

“There’s already testing going on in schools, where you have children of key workers and teachers in schools at the moment, because schools aren’t completely closed, and there is work going on at the moment about the details of the return to schools, and there will be more said about that next week.”

See the latest coronavirus vaccine stats and information

Read more: Preston’s mass Covid vaccination hub is now open and giving jabs

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), warned parents may not want to test their children at home as it could have implications for their paid work.

Dr Bousted told the PA news agency: “I think again that is fraught with difficulty as well because I think there’s been a big parental reaction to the notion that they’ve got to swab their children up their noses or down their throats.

“And of course lots of parents probably will not want to know if their child has got Covid because they will be asymptomatic and that has implications for them being able to work.

“I do think that’s a huge ask and if the Government is going to make that ask of parents – and if it’s going to make any asks to schools in terms of testing – it really has to be very clear about the science on which that is based, because otherwise it will be difficult to make it happen.”

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