Schools are shutting across Manchester as a suspected new variant has caused a rise in Covid cases across all ten boroughs.
In Greater Manchester as a whole there are now 582.2 cases per 100,000, with a 28% increase in Covid-positive patients in the week ending March 21, compared to the week before.
Fred Longworth High School in Wigan is amongst the schools that has had to close temporarily, with their headmaster Paul Davies telling parents: “we have now unfortunately reached the point where we cannot safely staff the school.”
UoM, who are no longer able to provide test kits to staff and students following the government rule changes, have acknowledged that the cases are rising but have not taken any action.
Alex, second year student stated: “I do think that there should be more information on this. However, in terms of restrictions, I think having masks mandatory again is just about fine.”
Manchester’s Director of Public Health, David Reagan does attribute the end of restrictions, such as mask-wearing, lateral flow test provisions and isolation, to impacting the spike. Whilst he has called this variant “much more transmissible”, he has said the cases haven’t risen to the concerning rates as in the previous waves, and he believes that it can be controlled.
Sophie a second year politics student reacted to this saying, “It should be scary that the cases are rising again. However, it doesn’t feel like it should be. I think we all just want to move on.”