MORE Herefordshire schools have been reporting that children are missing days due to Covid, with numbers rising.
More than half of maintained schools in the county reported Covid-related absences last week, Herefordshire Council said.
Some 88 of Herefordshire’s schools and colleges submitted data to the Department of Education last Thursday (September 30), with 54 reporting Covid absences.
This means there was at least one child self-isolating due to having symptoms, or a positve test result.
Rules changed in August, meaning children, as well as fully-vaccinated adults, do not now need to self-isolation if they come into close contact with a confirmed case.
At those 54 schools, there were 543 confirmed cases in pupils.
On top of that, there were 599 suspected cases.
It means 1,142 pupils in Herefordshire were off school or college on Thursday due to coronavirus, 63 more than the previous Wednesday (September 22).
Then, there were 494 confirmed cases and 585 suspected.
Two schools will reopen today (Monday, October 4) after being forced to close due to high numbers of Covid cases.
Almeley Primary School and Kingstone High School both closed more than a week ago.
Wigmore High School, Weobley High School, Hereford Academy, The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, Marlbrook Primary School, Sutton Primary Academy and Holmer Primary Academy are among the schools to confirm cases with recent weeks.
The data, submitted to the Department for Education, was sent in by 88 of Herefordshire’s 98 maintained schools on September 30.
Herefordshire Council previously said suspected cases would be either those children showing symptoms and awaiting confirmation of a PCR, or pupils having had a positive lateral flow who are then required to take a PCR.
Cases in Herefordshire have been rising, with the infection rate one of the fastest-growing in the UK.
Herefordshire is second in a list of the five UK areas with the biggest week-on-week rises.
The figures, for the seven days to September 26, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date.
The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.
Data for the most recent four days (September 27-30) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
Herefordshire recorded 1,228 new cases in the seven-day period, almost doube the 738 found the previous week.
It means the county has an infection rate of 634.2 cases per 100,000 people, up from 381.2.
Herefordshire Council has remind the public that due to rising cases across the county, it was “more important than ever” to use lateral flow test kits regularly.