As reported by BBC news, almost half of schools in Wales have had at least one case of coronavirus since the start of September, according to new data
Figures from Public Health Wales showed 44% of schools in Wales had been affected by the virus since September. They showed 82% of secondary schools recorded at least one case of the virus among pupils or staff. In primary schools the figure was lower, with 39% recording a positive case so far. Public Health Wales said cases linked to schools did not ‘necessarily imply that transmission occurred in that setting’.
Since 1 September there have been 1,150 coronavirus cases in pupils recorded across Wales. Over the same period there were 951 cases in staff. More than half of schools with cases recorded in the past 21 days had fewer than five people testing positive. Three schools in Wales had more than 20 positive cases – with one recording 40 cases. Statistics suggested there were more coronavirus cases in older age groups.
Cases among 17 to 18-year-olds peaked at more than 600 per 100,000 of the population. Meanwhile, for pupils aged 16 and under, rates have never exceeded 200 per 100,000 of the population.
The data suggested that last week there were around twice as many COVID-19 cases linked to schools in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area than anywhere else in Wales. It comes after Merthyr Tydfil, in the health board’s area, posted the highest COVID-19 rates in the UK. The area was one of nine local authorities where every secondary school recorded coronavirus cases. Others included Newport, Cardiff and Wrexham. In contrast only a third of secondary schools in Gwynedd had cases – while there were no cases recorded at secondary schools in Ceredigion.
The data from Public Health Wales does not include independent primary and secondary schools. All schools in Wales will reopen as normal from today following the end of the firebreak lockdown.