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Over the last 30 days there have been more than 200 cases of coronavirus among Pembrokeshire school pupils aged ten to 19 councillors have been told.

Director of education Steven Richards-Downes did warn that there was an increasing risk of year group closures due to covid-19 with one secondary already having to take that step due to staff absences caused by illness, self-isolating and other reasons.

Updating members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s schools and learning overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday (September 30), Mr Richards-Downes said that one issue facing schools was “increasing growth in the number of cases in the ten to 19 age bracket” with that group having the largest increase in covid-19.

He added that there had been more than 200 cases in that age bracket over the last 30 days in Pembrokeshire’s schools.

“We are working closely with our schools and unions to ensure all staff are treated fairly and we are doing everything we can to keep schools open and keep education moving,” Mr Richards-Downes said.

Ensuring a balance between well-being, a more normal school environment and reducing covid risks was needed, added Mr Richards-Downes, with “most cases from social contacts outside schools.”

He said, particularly for teenagers in their “formative years” the challenge is to “balance the harms of restricting contact and making sure learners are in a space where they can do the kinds of things they would normally do.”

Using the locally based decision framework, in conjunction with the health board and Public Health Wales, the county’s schools are currently considered to be at a “moderate level” of risk.

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