More than 3,000 young people in Suffolk have Covid as school mask restrictions end

Madisyn Seaman has been unable to go to school since October due to long Covid. Here school childen

Pupils in England no longer have to wear masks in communal places from today - Credit: PA

The number of young people testing positive for coronavirus in a week in Suffolk has risen by just under third, just as the last face masks restrictions at school are being lifted.

A total of 3,228 young people, aged 0 to 19, tested positive for Covid-19 in Suffolk in the week up to January 24.

This was a rise from the previous week's figure of 2,477 — an increase of about 30%.

 PA

The number of young people testing positive for Covid in Suffolk has more than doubled in two weeks - Credit: PA

In the seven days to January 24, 2022, a total of 364 out of Suffolk's 468 education settings — including all schools, colleges and nurseries — recorded at least one case of Covid in the last week, 23 more than the week prior.

This means more than 75% of education settings in Suffolk are currently dealing with cases of Covid.

Coronavirus cases for all ages in Suffolk rose by almost 20% in the space of a week, the latest data up to January 21 showed there were a total of 7,743 new infections reported in the county in seven days.

In England infections have slowed down but the highest prevalence was in primary school children at 7.81% between January 5 and 20 this year, while overall it was 4.41%.

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It means that during this period one in 23 people in England was infected with Covid.

Prime minister Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

Prime minister Boris Johnson does not want children wearing face masks at school - Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson urged teachers who insist masks should still be worn in lessons to follow the rules which state that they are no longer required for use in classrooms.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “Children have been one of the hardest hit as a result of the disruption throughout the pandemic”, adding that Mr Johnson “believes it is vital that children are receiving face-to-face education and can enjoy a normal experience in the classroom”.

He added: “The Prime Minister also thinks that the schools should follow the latest guidance.

“We’ve been clear that we removed the requirement for face masks to be worn in classrooms and we will remove advice for face masks to be worn in communal areas from January 27.”

The news comes following an email from Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to MPs, stating he will personally vet any plans to bring back masks in classrooms, which unions have condemned as an example of Whitehall seeking to “micromanage” schools.