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A Nantwich secondary school has reinstated mandatory wearing of face coverings for all pupils inside school buildings.

David Cole, headteacher at Brine Leas School, said the move “is not the situation that anyone would desire but it is the one we need”.

It comes as Cheshire East Council reports a rise in the number of positive cases of the Delta Variant of Covid-19.

And up to 40 pupils and one teacher were forced to self isolate at Brine Leas after several cases of Covid-19 were recorded.

The rule on face coverings had been relaxed by schools between Easter and May half-term.

Mr Cole, in a statement to parents today (June 7), said: “We have recently had several cases of COVID-19 in school in different year groups, which has led to the self-isolation of over 40 students and one member of staff.

“This is something that we are obviously keen to minimise as much as possible.

“One of the actions the Local Health Protection Team have requested when we’ve met to discuss confirmed cases and self-isolation of close contacts is the use of face coverings.

“With all of this in mind, I have today asked the Multi-Academy Trust and Local Governing Board to approve the reintroduction of face coverings inside school buildings, while the local situation remains.

“This has been approved and is effective from tomorrow (June 8).

“Wearing masks in the summer is not the situation that anyone would desire but it is the one we need.”

Pupils in secondary school are expected to carry out lateral flow Covid tests twice a week and report the results to both NHS Test and Trace and the school itself.

According to Cheshire East Director of Public Health Dr Matt Tyrer, there has been a rise of COVID cases in Cheshire East, with current case rates at 41 in 100,000 – up from 18 in 100,000 on May 21.

“Cases in children have been focused in the 12-18yr age group. We also are aware that we have cases of the Delta (Indian) variant across the borough,” he said.

“As a result of this there needs to be an increased vigilance in schools, particularly in areas around Macclesfield, Wilmslow and Nantwich.”

John Harrison, headteacher at Malbank, said his school would not be reinstating face coverings.

“Brine Leas are responding to cases that have arisen during the break and therefore made a decision that is relevant for them which I can totally understand and support them in that,” he said.

“We however have had no new cases for a long period so have no rationale to make that change currently but will continue to monitor the situation and follow national guidance.”

One Comment

  1. Peter says:

    Dr Matt Tyrer’s figure is a week out of date. On 7th June Cheshire East’s rate was 90.3 per 100 000.

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