New UK government survey shows going to school does not increase a primary-school pupil’s risk of catching Covid.

8 September 2020 By Paul Martin

This, coupled with a rise in the number of people in England who have tested positive for Covid-19, is putting the nation into another flat spin.  The dreaded second wave is upon us.

Except: it isn’t.  Well, certainly not yet, and quite possibly, not at all.

Actually, at the school in question  eight members of staff tested positive for Covid-19, but no pupils. Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk said three classloads of pupils, totalling 90 students – were told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Yet it was only the eight staff-members who tested positive, and the children were only sent home because that’s the system.  None of the children is known to have tested positive. has been pointing out for months that worldwide surveys show children under eleven, in effect almost all primary school pupils, are far less likely to get Covid, and if they do they get it very mildly in most cases.  

Most significantly, they almost never pass it on to adults – possibly because the children carry a low viral load, or possibly because children have a greater resistance to the disease. Or they have more efficient antibodies, because they had previously developed antibodies that fight the common cold, which has a similar sort of coronavirus. (Children on average get far more colds per year than adults do.)

Now comes a new study in the UK that confirms all the above.

A survey in England during the summer of 2020 showed that preschools and primary schools had a “low” rate of infection and transmission from the virus that causes Covid-19.

Scientists from Public Health England found that  children and staff who attended school more frequently were no more likely to test positive for antibodies than those who did not attend school, or who went less often. That implies the infection rates were the same, no matter how often a child goes to school, or des not.

The study of 12 thousand adults and children in England was carried out in June and early July, when there were very few cases of Covid in the UK.

In fact the survey found just three people (one child and two staff) tested positive for the virus – 0.02% of those swabbed.

There was no evidence that any of these three people passed the virus on to others they lived with or worked with. This confirms previous research by Public Health England showing “very low” numbers of cases and outbreaks in schools.

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