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Coronavirus: Norfolk schools offered outbreak support as Cambridgeshire officials recommend return of masks

Officials in Norfolk say they are "supporting" schools with coronavirus outbreaks, amid fears that tighter rules may have to be re-introduced to the county's classrooms.

Senior officials in neighbouring Cambridgeshire have today recommended that measures such as mask wearing and social distancing are restored at secondary schools there because of rising case numbers.

The Fenland district, which borders West Norfolk, currently has one of the 20 fastest rising rates of coronavirus anywhere in England.

Masks aren't required in the classroom for now, but could they soon make a return?
Masks aren't required in the classroom for now, but could they soon make a return?

And officials say more than half of new infections across Cambridgeshire are among people aged 17 or younger, though there are now signs of increases in older age groups too.

The new advice is set to remain in place until after the half-term break later this month.

But Norfolk County Council officials wouldn't be drawn on whether similar guidance is set to be issued here for now.

A spokesman said this afternoon: “We are working to support individual schools where we are seeing outbreaks, and we’re continuing to monitor cases closely.”

Infection rates in West Norfolk have risen sharply in recent days with figures for the seven days to last Friday, October 1, showing a near 25 per cent rise in week on week cases.

The area’s rolling weekly infection rate stood at 350.4 cases per 100,000 people at the same time – one of the highest figures recorded since the winter lockdown in January.

But latest data, up to Wednesday of this week, suggested the number of positive tests recorded may now be falling.

No new deaths have been recorded in the latest update from NHS England, meaning the total death toll related to Covid at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital remains unchanged at 503.

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