HUNDREDS of students and teachers in Wrexham and Flintshire have been forced out of the classroom just weeks into a new school term because of COVID infections.

Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Claire Homard, said: “As in other parts of Wales, Flintshire schools have seen a significant number of Covid cases since the start of the new school year.

“This was to be expected with the relaxation of restrictions under National Alert Level Zero and the programme of testing of secondary pupils and the education workforce before returning to school.”

Ms Homard confirms that there have been approximately 570 cases across Flintshire’s 77 schools between September 1 and 19.

She continued: “The rates in schools mirror the rates in the community. Schools continue to work closely with the Test, Trace and Protect Team and take appropriate action, when necessary, within the national guidance.

“There is no cause for alarm, all measures are precautionary to prevent and limit the spread and, thankfully, there are no serious medical cases.”

Meanwhile, Wrexham Council did not confirm the amount of pupils or staff that have been hit with the virus since returning in September.

A spokesman said: “It is clear from the latest figures that COVID-19 has not gone away and we are grateful to our school staff for working hard to keep pupils and colleagues safe.

“We continue to urge secondary school pupils and school staff to take regular lateral flow tests and not to attend school if they test positive or display any COVID-19 symptoms.

“Those with symptoms should seek a PCR test immediately and follow the relevant guidelines to help keep themselves and those around them safe.

“Whilst we will not share specific details regarding individual schools, we can confirm that any positive cases related to school pupils and staff are dealt with by the local Test, Trace and Protect (TTP) teams. We urge those contacted by the TTP team to follow their advice.”

The council recently issued a news piece detailing things you can do to help keep covid away from schools this autumn.

This included:

1. If your child has any symptoms, however mild, keep them at home and get a test.

2. No symptoms? Make sure they take a rapid lateral flow test twice-a-week and report all the results.

3. Get the vaccine if it’s offered to you or your child (at the moment, everyone in Wales aged 16+ can get the vaccine).

4. Wash hands regularly.

5. Follow the school rules on face coverings. Secondary pupils (Year 7 and above) will need to wear them on school transport.

Upon issuing these tips, the Lead Member for Education in Wrexham, Councillor Phil Wynn, said: “Although the situation is much better than it was last year due to the success of vaccination, the virus is still here – so it’s vital we all do our bit to keep Covid away.

“If your child is in secondary school, please make sure they take a lateral flow test twice-a-week and follow the rules on face-coverings…especially on school transport.

“And if they show any symptoms at all, keep them at home and book a PCR test.

“After a difficult 18 months, it’s really important that children get to make the most of school this term, so let’s work together to help keep our classrooms safe and our learners learning.”