There were 30 outbreaks of coronavirus in English schools after they reopened, analysis has found.
A Public Health England (PHE) report said the reopening of schools following the easing of national lockdown was associated with a total of 198 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 70 in children and 128 in staff.
There were 67 single confirmed cases, four “co-primary” cases and 30 outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools during June, it added.
A total of 121 cases were linked to the outbreaks, 30 in children and 91 in staff, the report said.
Boris Johnson pleas
The analysis comes as Boris Johnson issued a plea to parents to send their children back to the classroom when schools reopen next month.
The Prime Minister said the risk of contracting coronavirus in schools is “very small”, and that pupils face greater harm by continuing to stay at home.
He said: “I have previously spoken about the moral duty to reopen schools to all pupils safely, and I would like to thank the school staff who have spent the summer months making classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return in September.
“We have always been guided by our scientific and medical experts, and we now know far more about coronavirus than we did earlier this year.
“As the chief medical officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.
“This is why it’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.”
Outbreak in Dundee
It was announced today that seventeen teachers at Dundee school had contracted Covid-19, alongside two pupils and three community contacts.
The outbreaks are the latest in a series either at or linked to Scottish schools since classes resumed earlier in August, in some cases leading to entire classes being told to remain at home and self-isolate.
Those cases involved schools in Glasgow, Perth, Blairgowrie, Paisley, Johnstone and Coatbridge.