Hertfordshire public health officials looking at Covid experiences in schools in United States

Hertfordshire’s director of public health Jim McManus spoke at a media briefing on Tuesday

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:00 am

Public health officials in Hertfordshire are looking at the Covid experiences of schools from other parts of the world, to draw-up local guidance for headteachers.

A number of schools across the county have had to close – fully or partially – in the run-up to the end of term, due to the need for pupils or staff to self-isolate.

And in the wake of the government’s latest announcement – removing legal requirements for social distancing and face coverings from July 19 – there are still questions about what the changes will mean for schools, from September.

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Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, July 13, Hertfordshire’s director of public health Jim McManus said that there was likely to be a ‘combined prevention’ approach in schools.

He suggested, in line with national plans, there would be some kind of testing regime for pupils and students.

And he said there would be some kind of face covering mechanism in some parts of the school day.

He suggested that anyone infected would still have to isolate, although this is determined by national policy.

But pointing to the harm to education, he said it was probably a good thing to try to reduce isolation and to keep pupils in school as much as possible.

He also revealed that the county had set up a taskforce which was looking at the work done in schools in other areas, particularly in North Carolina.