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Keep Your Guard Up as Covid cases continue to rise

25 June 2021

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, Islanders are being reminded to continue to keep their guard up and follow the public health guidelines.


There has been an increase in confirmed cases over the last couple of weeks with a total of 114 active cases. From the school statistics data, this includes around 30 school children who are among these confirmed cases, since 14 June.


However, the latest evidence shows that Covid-19 transmission is affecting a higher number of secondary school students with two cases detected in a primary school, so far. The latest cases have been confined to a small number of secondary schools and two nurseries.


Deputy Medical Officer of Health Dr Ivan Muscat said: "As a result of vaccination, disease is predominantly in the young and therefore less severe, which significantly reduces the burden of disease. While we expect the numbers to continue to increase among young people, it is important for everybody in the community, not just educational settings, to continue to keep their guard up as we see an increase in Covid cases.


"We would like to thank the education community, students, parents and carers for continuing to work hard to keep the community safe."


Responding to this latest increase in confirmed cases, the Covid-Safe Tracing and Testing teams, along with senior public health and education officials, met with all headteachers, this morning, to reinforce the advice and measures available to ensure that they can continue to keep their schools as safe as possible.


There will be further discussion on Monday between public health, education officials and heads about the voluntary use of Lateral Flow Tests (which will require parental consent) for a wider age range of secondary school students, given that these tests can provide an additional layer of protection by detecting COVID-19 in those who do not display any symptoms.


These discussions will also include school transition days, which are due to take place next week.


Islanders are also reminded that any adult who has been fully vaccinated, once two weeks has passed since their second dose, can leave isolation after their first negative result.


The implementation of the policy for fully vaccinated individuals came into effect this week.


Immediate isolation is required if any fully vaccinated direct contact develops symptoms. They would need to call the helpline to arrange a PCR test and isolate until a negative result.


On the request of Ministers, STAC is reviewing the evidence and policy on isolation for children and young people under the age of 18 who have been identified as direct contacts. Ministers will make an announcement on the isolation requirement for children early next week.


Chief Minister and Children and Education Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: "Jersey is the only place in the British Isles to have had schools, colleges and nurseries open all year. Keeping schools open remains our priority in our Covid-19 strategy and reflects the Government's commitment to put children first. To ensure that there is no further loss to students' learning and experiences we are doing all that we can to support schools to continue running until the end of term.


"We all want to avoid any further disruption for students. If we all continue to follow the guidelines and keep our guard up against Covid, we can reduce the likelihood of children unable to attend school by having to isolate."


All schools must continue to follow public health guidance, including: ensuring rigorous personal hygiene; maintaining physical distancing;operating bubbles and year groups; increasing ventilation in schools; wearing masks on school buses.


In addition, secondary school students – and all school staff – are encouraged to continue wearing masks in communal areas of school buildings, where they cannot consistently maintain social distancing.


Full guidance for schools is available on the Government of Jersey website.

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