More than half of schools in Hull have seen class closures as infections soar

Support us and go ad-free

More than half of schools in Hull have seen coronavirus (Covid-19) related closures as the city’s infection rates continue to be the worst in England.

Hull’s director of public health Julia Weldon said 57 of the city’s 97 schools have seen closures in some year groups but only one primary school had been completely closed to all children “for a very short period of time”.

But Weldon told BBC Breakfast the council was not asking the government for the power to close more schools.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

She said: “It’s really difficult when you’ve got such widespread infection but we will maintain schools.

“What we want is the ability, perhaps in the next phase of this pandemic response, for local schools who know their children and know their families to make those local decisions so they can maintain the best offer they possibly can.”

On Monday, Hull topped the list compiled by the PA news agency of infection rates in English local authorities with 2,017 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 12 – the equivalent of 776.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Weldon was speaking after Hull City Council leader Stephen Brady told the Prime Minister that the city has been “forgotten” by central Government and urged him to take action after its coronavirus infection rates soared.

Brady has written a personal letter to Boris Johnson with a series of requests for support for the city – stating it has received no contact from central government about the current “health emergency”.

He said the infection rate in the city has risen at an “astonishing and terrifying rate”.

A council spokesperson said public health officials were warning that the peak in Hull – which has seen 252 coronavirus deaths – is yet to come.

Brady wrote: “Hull and our people have dealt with some huge challenges in the past, and we have always overcome them, but, on this occasion, as has too frequently been the case in the past, we seem, once again, to be the forgotten city.”

Brady said the city’s leaders had not received any contact from the government – despite the rate being more than double that of cities offered support prior to the national lockdown.

On Monday, the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said there were 188 confirmed Covid-19-positive patients in hospital in the city, with 14 in intensive care.

Last week, Weldon said this figure could soon rise to 400 or even 500 “in the next couple of weeks”, given the current infection rates.

And the trust has announced the death of hospital administration worker Nicola Diles, after she was admitted to intensive care with a Covid-19 diagnosis.

Trust chief executive Chris Long said: “Nicola was a highly valued member of the team and we are very grateful for her years of service to the people of Hull and East Yorkshire.

“Nicola’s death is a terrible reminder that Covid-19 continues to devastate our staff and our wider community. She is the third member of our team to die following the deaths of Adrian Cruttenden and Rich Albufera in the past few months and we feel the pain of the loss of all three.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us