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Health chief urges people to follow rules after COVID-19 outbreak at primary school


A HEALTH chief is urging people to follow the rules following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Callands Community Primary School.

At least 14 pupils are believed to have tested positive at the school which has resulted in years 5 and 6 being sent home self-isolating.
Following a multi-agency meeting, health chiefs are satisfied the school is operating COVID secure and the outbreak has been caused by people not following the rules, including gatherings outside the school and households, not self-isolating.

Thara Raj, Warrington Borough Council’s Director of Public Health said: “We have been working with Callands Community Primary school to support them in dealing with a number of cases, and a multi-agency meeting has been held to support the school to review these cases.
“It is my view, shared with Public Health England, that the school is doing everything it can to maintain a COVID-secure environment. Risk assessments show no evidence of the virus transmitting within the school, but there is evidence to suggest that the virus is spreading outside of the school, where people are not following the clear lockdown rules in place. This includes people gathering outside of school and there are also instances of households not self-isolating when they need to. In these circumstances, the most significant increase in case numbers we are seeing is amongst year 5 and year 6 groups.

Public health director Thara Raj

“We need everyone to behave in the right way because, although the vaccine programme is being rolled out successfully so far, this does not mean people cannot get very ill or even die if they get the virus, as there are still many other people who have not received their first dose of the vaccine yet.
“Following the basics of ‘hands, face, space’, as always, is essential in helping to mitigate the spread of the virus. It is also vitally important that if you develop any symptoms, however mild, you self-isolate immediately and book an NHS test to see if you have coronavirus. We also need people to self-isolate if they are instructed to by the Test and Trace service.
“If you have no symptoms, but need to leave the house for essential reasons like work or care, remember you can also get a symptom-free test at one of our designated symptom-free testing sites. By getting tested in this way, we are able to identify people who have the virus but have no symptoms and could therefore be spreading COVID-19 without realising.”
To find out more about COVID-19 testing, and to book a test if you have symptoms, visit warrington.gov.uk/get-tested-coronavirus
For the latest COVID-19 guidance for Warrington visit https://www.warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus-latest-guidance

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. A concerned parent on

    Interesting – it appears that the fault of the outbreak at the school lays firmly at the feet of the parents who have successfully managed to adhere to the government rules (and beyond in many cases I’m sure) and protect themselves, their families and their community for nearly a year from Covid-19. It seems a little odd then that the conclusion of the Director of Public Health for Warrington is that these same parents have thrown all caution to the wind upon their children returning to Callands Primary School to the extent that within 2 weeks, they have single handedly been the root cause of an outbreak that has resulted in Year 5 and 6 having to self isolate. It’s a shame the Director of Public Health for Warrington fails to recognise the virus is a systemic issue, one that Callands Primary School needs to take especial care in managing and an issue that an impartial review could help improve. I wonder if this especial care in the management of Covid-19 protection measures exercised by Callands Primary School should include that teachers are exempt from isolation when students in their class have tested positive for Covid-19? I believe this highlights that Callands Primary School are not effectively managing the risk to students, their families or indeed teacher’s as the exemptions they permit are irresponsible and representative of significant systematic failings. Perhaps when this issue is investigated further the Director of Public Health for Warrington may exercise a little more objectivity opposed to offsetting the blame on to parents for their own convenience.

    • I find it confusing that the School system for Callands is to drop off Year 3,4,5,6 and wait for up to ten minutes with Reception Y1and Y2. On collection the parents pick up Reception Y1 and Y2 and wait up to 10 minutes for Y3,4,5 and 6. So if the public health are putting it down to parents then why is it not the three years stood waiting for ten minutes coming down with coronavirus? Instead of the 4 years safely inside the school?

  2. Its delusional to believe that there is no transmission within the walls of schools. The daily figures are already showing huge rise in infections in 10-19 age bracket. So if its parents not foklowing rules then why is it just showing a rise in the younger age range?

    I’ve not left the house in weeks yet here I am
    with Covid. My wife is a teacher and caught it in school. The GP on the Covid helpline said he has spoken to countless teachers and TAs since kids went back.

    Vaccinate the teachers. Its not rocket science.

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