Face masks back as additional measures brought in to reduce Covid-19 transmission in Suffolk schools and education settings

Published

Face masks and restrictions on visitors are to be reintroduced to Suffolk schools to help slow the current rate of transmission in education settings.

SCC are advising that the following measures be implemented from the 1 November 2021.

  • Staff in all education settings (primary, secondary, and higher education) to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
  • Students in all secondary and higher education settings to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
  • All education settings to restrict entry to their site to essential visitors only.
  • Any visitors to wear a face covering while on-site, this includes adults collecting children in the playground.

On October 6, SCC introduced a new sibling policy, which advised children and young people aged between 4 and 18 years to stay at home when a sibling they live with tests positive for COVID-19. This applies to schools with an outbreak of Covid-19 and is still in place.

The number of cases within children and young people aged 10-14 has increased by almost 15% and cases amongst 15–19-year-olds has increased by 32% in the past week of data. This means that in October alone school children in Suffolk have lost 26,264 days of education due to positive cases of Covid-19. There has also been an increase in cases amongst other age ranges across Suffolk, which may be due in part, to family transmission.

These measures will be reviewed during the week commencing Monday 15 November 2021.

Stuart Keeble, Director of Public Health said:

“We have seen the number of Suffolk pupils with covid-19 increase so are working with schools to implement these additional measures immediately to help break the chain of transmission.

“We are taking these numbers seriously and school leaders are being extremely vigilant to ensure children and staff safe. If parents have concerns, we would advise them to speak to their schools who will be able to reassure parents of the measures they are taking.

“Our main focus is to balance pupil and staff safety whilst giving children as positive and normal education as possible.”