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No evidence of difference between school staff testing positive for COVID antibodies and wider working-age population

Written by on 01/03/2021

There is no evidence of a difference between school staff testing positive for coronavirus antibodies and the wider working-age population, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The main findings from the Schools Infection Survey come ahead of children going back to classrooms in England next Monday as part of the first phase of lifting the lockdown.

As of 10 December 2020, it is estimated 14.61% of primary school staff had COVID-19 antibodies, suggesting they had been infected with the illness, while 15.72% of secondary staff were thought to have had them.

That’s a small rise on the previous month, where 12.63% of primary teachers and 12.27% of secondary staff were thought to have antibodies.

All children in all schools will be expected to head back to class on 8 March, after more than two months of home-learning.

Teaching unions have criticised the government for not prioritising the vaccinating of teachers ahead of reopening.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said school teams “often occupy confined and unventilated spaces for long periods of time with only rudimentary PPE (personal protective equipment)”.

“The fact that it may have added some complexity to rollout is not a good enough reason not to prioritise the needs of committed professionals,” he said.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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