Infection rates in three Surrey areas now over 600 as pressure grows to close schools

Every area of Surrey is seeing their coronavirus infection rates rise, putting more potential pressure on the Government to close schools.

One area of Surrey now has a coronavirus infection rate of more than 700, according to the latest data.

Spelthorne has the highest rate in the county after recording 720 new cases, in the seven days leading up to December 28. The area now has an infection rate of 721.1 per 100,00 people.

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Spelthorne, Epsom and Ewell, and Tandridge all recorded rates higher than 600.

Epsom and Ewell reported 537 new cases which means it has an infection rate of 666.0. This is followed by Tandridge which now has an infection rate of 640.0 per 100,000 people after recording 564 new cases.

Only four Surrey areas recorded on infection rate lower than 500 in the seven days studied: Runnymede, Guildford,Mole Valley, and Waverley.

Waverley has the lowest infection rate in the county. In the seven days leading to December 28, the area reported 554 new cases and it has an infection rate of 438.5 per 100,000 people.

Will primary schools in Surrey close at the start of term?

Boris Johnson is being urged to close all schools in England, following the government’s decision to close all primary schools in London due to high infection rates in these areas.

None of Surrey’s primary schools are affected, despite the fact that nearly all of its districts and boroughs have infection rates higher than several of those put on the Government list.

Julie Iles, Surrey County Council (SCC) cabinet member for all-age learning, said: “As the local authority we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe return to school because of the huge detriment to children and young people’s well-being which is caused by being out of school and for the most vulnerable families it is one of our major touchpoints in order to ensure their safety.

“We are also fiercely lobbying to request that teachers are prioritised for the vaccination along with other front line workers such as social workers, police and the fire service because they too are working on our behalf as are NHS workers.”

Secondary schools

Meanwhile, secondary schools across most of England will remain closed for an extra two weeks in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Williamson said exam-year pupils would return a week earlier than their friends, on January 11. The time in between aims to give schools the opportunity to set up mass testing provision.

Secondary schools and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and children of key workers during this period.

Breakdown of figures for Surrey

The figures, for the seven days to December 28, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on January 1 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

From left to right, the figures show the infection rate for the seven days leading to December 28, followed by the number of new cases in brackets for that same period.

Afterwards is the infection rate of new cases in the seven days leading to December 21, followed by the number of new cases recorded in that same period, to provide a week-on-week comparison.

Spelthorne – 721.1, (720), 618.0, (617)

Epsom and Ewell – 666.0, (537), 563.1, (454)

Tandridge – 640.0, (564), 593.4, (523)

Reigate and Banstead – 592.3, (881), 474.6, (706)

Elmbridge – 576.8, (789), 510.3, (698)

Woking – 574.4, (579), 558.6, (563)

Surrey Heath – 561.0, (501), 472.5, (422)

Runnymede – 496.5, (444), 447.3, (400)

Guildford – 493.3, (735), 341.6, (509)

Mole Valley – 460.8, (402), 354.2, (309)

Waverley – 438.5, (554), 297.6, (376)

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