- 17 August 2020
- 5 min read
Is Test and Trace the key to reopening schools in September?Subscribe To Advice
Health experts are worried that transmission of coronavirus will spike when children return to school next month. Will effective Test and Trace be the key to assuage their concerns?
Boris Johnson believes the harm being done to children's education prospects and mental health by not attending school is far more damaging than the risk posed to them by the virus.
Do you agree with the PM?
Do you think that the need to resume formal education far outweighs the risk of increased coronavirus cases? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.
The evidence around the danger to children of Covid-19 is inconclusive.
A review of 18 studies suggested children might be half as likely as adults to pass on the virus.
A study by Public Health England found that during the first peak of coronavirus in the UK, children under 16 accounted for just 1% of cases, with over 35,200 tests performed on children under the age of 16 between January 1st and May 2nd 2020.
Although, the unavoidable interaction between schoolchildren, teachers and parents means that the risk of an increase in coronavirus transmission cannot be ruled out, the risk is minimal given the evidence garnered by these studies.
Do you agree? Is the government right to weigh up the risk of the virus against the known consequences of educational and social deprivation?
The first Test and Trace app wasn’t generally released. There were too many bugs in it to be considered effective.
The current Test and trace system centred around contact tracing by telephone is not working much better, with stories of some contact tracers having done nothing for weeks.
As a result, it has been announced that 6000 contact tracing jobs are being cut by the end of August.
Do you think that it is too soon to be cutting the numbers of contact tracers, especially if a spike in cases is anticipated in September?
A new Test and Trace app was launched for testing in August. If it proves successful, do you think this will be the catalyst for government to reopen schools in September?
The news that Britain is now in a deep recession illustrates the need for children to return to school so parents can return to work.
Do you think parents, being aware of the risk of Covid19, should be able to send their children back to school?
The widely expected exam results fiasco makes the need to a return to proper schooling even more pressing.
The National Education Union, which represents 450,000 teachers has published a list of 200 safety demands that the government must meet before it will advise its members to return to work.
However, with still no regular testing routine for healthcare workers, is it realistic to expect the government to have such systems in place before school are due back in a few weeks’ time?
Reportedly, one third of people with Covid-19 could not be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
In addition, is relying on a new Test and Trace app feasible, given the problems with the first version and the low levels of uptake and retention of the app in other countries where this has been rolled out?
The Prime Minister has said it is a "moral duty" to get all children back into schools next month.
Let us know what you think in the comments. Is the government right to weigh up the risks in this way?