DUDLEY'S health chiefs have issued a warning about rising Covid cases in schools across the borough.

There has been a large number of outbreaks in educational settings across the borough, Dudley Council has confirmed, with 530.7 cases per 100,000 people recorded among 10 to 19-year-olds last week.

Public health has been working with schools, colleges and early years settings to look at possible ways to reduce transmission and help curb the increasing numbers of Covid cases being seen in children and young people.

In cases where there is a confirmed outbreak of the virus in an educational setting, measures are to be introduced short term and may include the wearing of face coverings in communal areas, asking pupils to take a PCR test if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and asking youngsters to stay at home until they get their results.

The measures would only be introduced for a short time and would be under constant review.

Meanwhile, parents are urged to remember the importance of testing and isolating and pupils of all ages are reminded to play their part by practising good hand hygiene and giving space to one another, especially indoors. Young people, aged 12 and over, are also encouraged to take up the offer of vaccination.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley Council's cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: "I want to thank pupils, parents and schools for all they have and continue to do during these challenging times.

"Much like many areas of the country, we are seeing an increased number of Covid cases in our children and young people and some of our educational settings are experiencing outbreaks.

"Public health is working with schools to look at possible ways to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe. Today we have written to parents and carers to explain how they can support their child’s school if measures are temporarily reintroduced.

"I would remind everyone in the community that they can also play their part by regularly taking lateral flow tests. Anyone experiencing Covid symptoms must isolate at home and book a PCR test.”

People are urged to take a PCR test if they have any of the main Covid symptoms – high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. As a precaution, people feeling generally unwell are also encouraged to take a PCR test as many who have tested positive for Covid-19 often display other symptoms.

For the latest advice and information visit dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus.