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A NEW coronavirus interactive map which shows the number of cases near every school in England has been launched today.
Parents can now type in their post code to view accurate and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate near their children’s school.
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The school map, createad by the National Education Union, shows the number of cases and whether or not the school has been placed on a watchlist.
It will also provide links to any local restrictions which have been put in place.
For example, the Stoneyholme Nursey School in Burnley – which has the highest rate of infection in the country – shows the town is on a watchlist.
However, the map shows that schools on the Isle of Wight – which has one of the lowest rates in the country – are "not on the watchlist".
The new map comes as local authorities are said to be considering enforcing restrictions as cases of the virus continue to increase.
Fresh date shows Burnley had 279 new cases recorded in the seven days to September 26 – the equivalent of 313.8 cases per 100,000 people.
Areas such as Knowsley, in Merseyside, also witnessed a big jump in cases over the last seven days, going from 177.6 to 283.0 with 427 new cases.
However, the new map is likely to offer reassurance to most of the population as it will show case numbers are quite low.
In other areas, it will reinforce messaging from the Government and local authorities that cases are higher and are rising.
Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn.
The NEU School Covid Map presents up to date information on the Covid rate in every part of England."
“But they have been let down by the Government which hasn't even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.
“The NEU School Covid Map presents up to date information on the Covid rate in every part of England.
“This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information.
“We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.
“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.
“We have written to the Prime Minister calling for much quicker testing for staff and students, Nightingale sites for smaller classes, guaranteed home working for vulnerable staff, and more funding for already strained schools and colleges to maintain Covid-security.
NEW SCHOOL MAP
“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be.
“This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”
As it stands, Burnley and Knowsley are in the high risk category – this means that these areas have seen a seven day rate of over 50 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Other areas in the category include Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bolton.
Today five more areas have joined the red zone, with Dudley, Hounslow, Barnsley, Cheshire East and Harrogate jumping from amber to red.
Most of these areas are also included on PHE's watch list and are already under tougher restrictions than the rest of the country.
At present the rule of six applies to everyone in England, aside from those in areas which are under tougher restrictions.
The rule of six means that you can only socialise in a group of six, inside or outside. The six members of the party can all be from different households.
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