England, United Kingdom

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  1. Public Health responds to rising Covid cases in schools

    Public Health England is working with schools in Dudley where a sharp rise in coronavirus cases has been recorded.

    Dudley Borough Council said there had been a number of outbreaks in schools and it had recoded 1,043 positive cases per 100,000 children in primary settings and 1,249 cases per 100,000 in secondary schools.

    This compares to an average of 463 cases per 100,000 of people in the borough overall.

    The local authority said it was working with health officials to look at ways of reducing transmission and urged parents and children to take precautions over the half term break.

    Quote Message: Public health is working with our schools to look at possible ways to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe and we are asking everyone to support their child’s school if measures are briefly reintroduced. from Councillor Nicolas Barlow Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
    Councillor Nicolas BarlowDudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  2. One in 55 estimated to have Covid in England

    Around one in 55 people in England are estimated to have had Covid in the week ending 16 October, according to the Office for National Statistics, but figures for the West Midlands show a levelling off.

    Covid passport sign

    That's an increase on the week before, when the figure was one in 60.

    The percentage of people testing positive is estimated to have increased in all regions except the West Midlands and the South East.

    The percentage of people testing positive for Covid increased in all age groups except those aged 25 to 34.

  3. Sister runs marathon in memory of Judo champion Craig Fallon

    A police officer has raised more than £4,000 in memory of her brother, former world Judo champion Craig Fallon.

    Tina Fallon-Hancock with Craig Fallon

    Tina Fallon-Hancock, an officer with West Midlands Police, raised the money to donate to mental health charity Mind by running the London Marathon on 3 October.

    Mr Fallon, from Telford, took his own life in July 2019, and his sister said stigma around mental health meant he "kept everything to himself".

    Craig Fallon

    “The only way I could really rationalise what had happened was by helping others and raising awareness,” Ms Fallon-Hancock said, which inspired her to run the marathon.

    "Although he couldn’t help himself, my brother would’ve wanted me to help others," she said. “And every pound we raise is doing something to help others.”

    Quote Message: I want to show people that this is real. This is my life, and it could happen to you. My brother had a son, he had a successful career, he was a phenomenal fighter – but he was fighting a lot of demons. from Tina Fallon-Hancock
    Tina Fallon-Hancock
  4. Unvaccinated young people could be causing Walsall Covid spread

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Health bosses have warned the amount of unvaccinated school children and young people in Walsall could be causing a spread of Covid-19 across the borough.

    Members of Walsall’s Health and Wellbeing Board were told take up rates of the vaccine amongst 12-16-year-olds was “slow” with some schools reporting only one in three taking their jabs.

    One of the issues cited is parents’ reluctance to let their children be vaccinated and even threatening to pull them out of school.

    Latest figures show that, in the seven day period up to October 15, Walsall recorded overall rates of 408.1 cases per 100,000 population.

    But statistics show the 10-14 year-old age group is the most affected in Walsall with rates reaching 1,625 per 100,000 during this month.

    Stock vaccination image

    West Midlands Police Ch Supt Phil Dolby told Tuesday’s meeting he had met with head teachers from schools and said in one case, only 500 pupils out of 1,500 eligible were going to take their jabs while other schools had similar numbers.

    Mr Dolby said: “I do think it’s a real health issue for young people.

    "It is appropriate for us to consider what kind of surveillance we might have around the reasons for that and what we might be able to do to address it.

    Stephen Gunther, Walsall’s director of public health said: “It is really important to say vaccinations are our best and safest approach to reduce the virus and its spread but, more importantly, it’s impact."

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Man builds Halloween pirate ship in Tamworth garden

    Andrew Carvel built the ship, which measures 30ft long, from scrap wood and pallets.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Shropshire man with dementia plays at Blackpool Tower

    Danny O'Ryan has had a lifelong dream playing the famous Wurlitzer organ at Blackpool Tower.

  7. Boy, 6, rings bell to signal end of cancer treatment

    A six-year-old boy who has spent over half his life battling leukaemia has ‘rung the bell’ to signal the end of his cancer journey.

    Aaron Parmar, from Sedgley, had daily chemotherapy for over three years and was admitted to hospital 27 times after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of two.

    His father, Parminder Singh, said the family are "so relieved" to see the end of his treatment.

    "It was very emotional after such a long time,” he said.

    “When your child is suffering, it’s horrible for a parent and very difficult."

    Aaron Parmar
  8. Thieves take defibrillators from outside churches

    Two defibrillators have been taken from outside two Wolverhampton churches.

    The potentially lifesaving kits, which can give a patient's heart an electric shock when it has stopped beating, were taken from cabinets placed at St Columba United Reform Church last Monday and Springdale Methodist on Friday.

    West Midlands Police said it is unclear if the thefts are connected and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.