Barking & Dagenham Council issues school gates Covid appeal to parents

An east London council has launched a campaign to get parents to wear face coverings when dropping their children off at school in a bid to stop a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Barking and Dagenham Council issued the appeal also asking adults to maintain social distancing while at the school gates.

The borough reported 29 positive Covid tests per 100,000 people in the latest week. The average area in England had 17 cases. Several schools in the borough have also now had confirmed cases of the virus.

It comes after Barking and Dagenham’s health and wellbeing board heard last week that the area had “two to three weeks” to stem the tide of cases before local lockdown measures could be introduced.

Director of Public Health Matthew Cole said today: “Wearing a mask and social-distancing are two of our key weapons in stopping the spread of coronavirus.

“Unless they’re exempt from wearing one, I encourage all parents to wear a face covering when picking up or dropping off their child.”

Mr Cole has also told headteachers to enforce face coverings in corridors and communal areas as more than 90 percent of children have returned to school in the borough.

Schools have also introduced staggered start and finish times hand sanitisers and one-way systems to minimise infections.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: “I know how nice it is to have a catch-up with other parents at the school gates but we need to remember coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we still need to do all we can to keep infection rates low and prevent a lockdown.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter