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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 October 2020

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

  (Click to enlarge)

Martin Powell-Davies, teacher and National Education Union activist

School staff and parents fear the worst. Public Health England figures show that the highest test-positivity rates are now in the 10-19 age group, but schools are still expected to remain open with full class sizes, even in 'tier-two' and 'tier-three' lockdown areas.

Now we learn that the national contact-tracing callers are no longer directly reporting cases to the local health protection teams who do the follow-up in schools. Is this because a more efficient system has emerged, or is it just another example of the government failing to take the risk of Covid transmission in schools seriously?

Are schools now expected to rely on parents to tell them if their child has a positive test result? What if they don't, or don't do so quickly? Is it then down to schools to tell the local health protection teams? Wouldn't this mean even more delay before health protection teams know what's happening in their area?

And in any case, what's the reason for not following up single cases? Are health protection teams expected to wait until there's a wider outbreak before acting on it?

More delay means more risk and less chance of stopping the virus spreading. Isn't this just adding more opportunities for things to go wrong with a test-and-trace system that desperately needs strengthening, not making worse? We need answers - and fast.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 14 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Locked down, hard up, fight back!

As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

National Education Union must launch action now

Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

Under the microscope


Students

Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education

Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

Building a movement to fight for free education


What we think

Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour


Workplace news

Usdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union

NEU Special Conference: A fight for safety in schools is urgently needed

Napo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

University workers ballot for action against in-person teaching

Stop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

Unison: The Socialist is backing Hugo Pierre - for a fighting socialist general secretary!


Co-ops

Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?


Campaigns

Stop NHS meltdown

Transport for London funding crunch

Oliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice

Fighting Fund - we're off to a good start


Obituary

Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020


International news

Greek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

Nigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit


Readers' opinion

Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Martin Powell-Davies:

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