- Last month, children in England had no need for masks in classrooms and most went back to school without vaccinations
- School reopenings do not appear to have increased Covid cases
- Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the country sees 100,000 cases daily, but England recorded 33,025 on Thursday, 67% lower than estimates
- Government figures show that 90% of children in state schools are in classes and most of 10% are not due to covid reasons
- Covid cases finally peaked with one in 30 English children testing positive, down from one in 20 last week
- Experts say the slowdown may indicate increased immunity from a combination of vaccination and infection in young people
As parents and teachers across America debate the importance of the mask and vaccine mandate (or lack thereof), England has not left the issue up for debate.
In early September, millions of children returned to schools with face coverings not required in classrooms and eligible vaccines only for children 12 and older.
Experts said the plan was a gamble – but it appears to have paid off.
The number of daily cases in the UK is much lower than in the heat wave, suggesting that high rates of vaccination among adults have prevented schools from increasing infections.
In fact, new cases per day are 60 per cent lower than their estimate.
What’s more, COVID cases in children may finally peak, with recent data from the UK Department of Health and Social Care showing that the number of children and adolescents testing positive has declined over the past week.
Last month, children at UL had no need for masks in classrooms and most went back to school without vaccinations, but that doesn’t appear to have increased in cases. Image: Students listen during geography lessons at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, Wales on September 14
Case rates in children have finally peaked after an explosion from one in 20 testing positive to one in 30 at the start of the new term, data from Public Health England shows.
In mid-July, during the peak of UK summer growth, England was reporting 50,955 new cases daily, according to Public Health England (PHE).
As of Thursday 33,025 new infections were registered.
This is 60 percent less than the prediction of Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who told bbc radio The lifting of restrictions in July would see 100,000 cases per day.
Experts say that with a very high percentage among the eligible population, COVID vaccination is to thank.
PHE data shows that in England about 85 per cent of people 12 years of age and older have received at least one dose and 78.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Covid cases finally peaked with one in 30 English children testing positive, down from one in 20 last week
These are much higher than parents in the US, where 76.2 percent of people age 12 and older have been given at least one vaccine dose and 65.8 percent have completed their vaccine series.
This means that Britain’s successful vaccine rollout appears to have prevented schools from promoting new outbreaks.
COVID-19 deaths have not increased among school children and are lowest among children 15 or younger, showing that school openings have not increased Covid deaths
The UK government has insisted that the low number of children who miss school days shows that the scheme is working.
Recent data shows that 90 per cent of the more than eight million students in UK government schools are in classes.
What’s more, of the 10 per cent students who were absent, most were for non-Covid reasons.
Parents have lauded the effort and said that the bigger danger would be keeping children in masks or forcing them to do distance learning.
‘It’s important for children,’ Morgan Kargadauris, whose daughter attends Notting Hill Preparatory School in London, told the new York Times.
‘What they learn is through expression and through contact with people.’
And, even though, there has been an explosion of infections among children recently – with one in 20 students aged 10 to 19 years old – it appears that the increase is waning.
Health department statistics show that infection is still highest among children aged 10 to 14.
During the week ending September 27 after the start of the new term, there were 1,540 positive tests per 100,000 people in that age group.
But it has fallen for five days, falling to just 1,461 per 100,000 in a seven-day spell ending October 2 – the most recent day’s figures available for this.
A similar trend is visible in 15- to 19-year-olds, with cases peaking at 651 per 100,000 in the same seven-day window). Now it is at 635 per 100,000.
And cases for children between the ages of five and nine have been falling for nine consecutive days, reaching 569 per 100,000 on September 23. Some 487 per 100,000 in the cohort are now infected.
Overall, the infection rate has come down to one in 30 among those testing positive for COVID.
Experts say the slowdown may indicate increased immunity from a combination of vaccination and infection in young people.
Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, a specialist in child health at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, told DailyMail.com that cases could drop as immunity levels in young people and parents are rising due to vaccines and natural infections.
COVID-19 deaths among children also remain low, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
Virus-related deaths increased in the 25-to-44, 54-to-64 and 75-to-84 age groups, but were flat or declined in all other age groups.
What’s more, children 15 years of age or younger had the lowest mortality rates, indicating that not only did school openings lead to an increase in covid deaths, but also that school-going children had a higher risk of death than adults. Not high risk.