Two thirds of teachers in England say they know colleagues who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19 in their school or college, according to a trade union survey.
Almost six in ten (59%) of those polled also reported that classes, year groups or ‘bubbles’ had been sent home because of suspected or positive Covid-19 cases.
The findings were based on the response of 7,440 members of the NASUWT union, which said that it “laid bare the reality” teachers and headteachers faced in terms of additional workloads and that safety concerns were having a major impact on mental and physical health.
Nearly a half of teachers (47%) expressed confidence in the way their school or college was dealing with suspected and actual cases, but a third (33%) were not confident.
“The reality is of more and more teachers being absent from work because of illness or because they need to self-isolate,” said NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach,
“The government has not done enough to support teachers in meeting the challenges of providing education to children and young people in these unprecedented circumstances.”
Covid infections seem to have peaked in Greater Manchester, says Burnham, although hospital cases still rising
The second wave of coronavirus infections appears to have peaked in Greater Manchester, the mayor, Andy Burnham has said, although the “full impact” would not be felt by the region’s hospitals until later this month.
The infection rate across the region of 2.8 million people, most of which has been under restrictions for 14 weeks, fell week-on-week for the first time since 21 August.
However, data released today also showed that Greater Manchester’s intensive care capacity had reached 79% and there had been a sharp rise in the number of Covid patients in non-critical care in the first week of November.
There were 129 Covid-19 patients in intensive care in the week ending 9 November, up only slightly from 126 the previous week but more than double the tally three weeks ago.
The number of patients in non-ICU beds jumped to 1,208 in the week to 9 November, up from 1,049 a week earlier.
Burnham told a press conference that hospitals could increase ICU capacity to cope with an expected rise in patients during November.
Although there are the first signs perhaps that we may have seen the peak of the second wave with regard to the number of new infections in the community, I think it’s important for me to say that it doesn’t yet appear that we’ve reached the peak in terms of pressure on our hospitals and that is more likely to be felt towards the later part of this month – that’s certainly what colleagues in our hospitals are expecting to see. We haven’t, from an NHS point of view, seen the full impact yet of the second wave.
The overall fall in the infection rate was reflected in a drop in cases among the over-65s who are most vulnerable to Covid-19.
There was, however, concern about a continuing rise in infections among care home residents, 4.1% of whom have confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in the week to 10 November, up from 2.5% a fortnight ago. This remains significantly lower than in early April, when these figures were first collated, when the number stood at 6.7%.
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Downing Street lobby briefing – Summary
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