Schools will 'have difficulty' if Covid rise continues

Schools 'will have difficulty delivering education' if cases aren't brought under control, a Sage scientist warns
15th October 2020, 11:20am

Share

Schools will 'have difficulty' if Covid rise continues

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/schools-will-have-difficulty-if-covid-rise-continues
Coronavirus: Schools Will Have Difficulty Delivering Education If Cases Keep Rising, Warns Sage Scientist

Schools and other essential services such as fire and rescue could struggle to function if Covid-19 cases are allowed to continue to rise, a government adviser has warned.

Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said essential services could be affected in areas with the highest infection rates unless measures are taken to bring the epidemic under control.

"When you start to get levels of infection like this in the community, it starts to affect other services such that so many teachers will be off sick with Covid that the schools will have difficulty delivering education," he said.


Coronavirus: Sage warning over schools spreading Covid

Lockdown: Circuit-breaker lockdown recommended 

Colleges: Scientists say college teaching should move online


Prof Semple told BBC Breakfast that the health system in Liverpool is currently "highly, highly stressed" by having so many Covid-19 cases.

Coronavirus: The impact of cases on schools

"There's also a high level of [NHS] staff absence because of, essentially, burnout but also sickness - and that, within our infrastructure within Liverpool, is cause for concern," he said.

"And these cases are from infections that occurred 10 days ago.

"The current infections… are baked into the system, so we're predicting quite a dire situation within a week or so, and that's why we've been making these very public announcements."

Prof Semple said that unless something happens to stem the spread of the coronavirus, "the numbers will keep rising, there'll be further hospital admissions and further deaths".

He added: "But it's not just the Covid disease in the hospital we have to think of.

"This isn't just now about protecting the NHS, this is actually now about protecting other aspects of how we run our communities in Liverpool."

Prof Semple said that, in his opinion, Manchester needs to move into Tier 3 measures, as do other regions.

He added: "There is always going to be some friction between the focus on the numbers of cases and the need to keep the economy going, but from a purely academic point of view, where I'm coming from, if you allow the numbers to rise it inevitably has an impact on the economy because you start to lose the capacity to deliver these other essential services."

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters