Coronavirus: Track and trace means schools should not reopen

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Woman looking at phoneImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The NHS Test and Trace system has revealed double the number of cases in Doncaster area than previously reported

Schools in Doncaster should not return because the new NHS Test and Trace system has revealed Covid-19 cases are higher than initially reported, the public health director has said.

In a letter to head teachers, Dr Rupert Suckling said 109 additional cases were identified in Doncaster by the scheme - on top of those already reported.

Around 30% of those have not yet been contacted.

Dr Suckling said until they are, it is "too soon" for schools to return.

The national Test and Trace system is now operating in Doncaster, and Dr Suckling said that gave him "grounds for optimism".

But he warned that of the 109 extra people identified as having the illness, only 70% had so far been contacted.

"In terms of what this means for schools, I still believe it is too early to open schools," he said.

"There have been double the number of cases reported to me via the NHS Test and Trace system than in previously via the national government website.

"30% of the current cases have not yet been contacted so the number of contacts to trace remains unknown".

Media caption,

WATCH: What is contact tracing and how does it work?

Dr Suckling said the picture for schools in Doncaster would be clearer by the end of this week.

He added that national data shows the death rate in Doncaster is "slowly falling" and said he was confident the borough has "passed the peak of the virus",

But death rates do not give an accurate picture of community transition levels, he said.

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