Calls for mass Covid testing in Sedbergh rejected

Credit: PA

Sedbergh School has reported that a ‘significant’ number of their pupils have received a positive test over the weekend. Current reports say 54 pupils have the virus.

The whole school is being tested this week via a Mobile Testing Unit led by the UK armed forces.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron and local Liberal Democrat councillors Nick Cotton, Suzie Pye and Ian Mitchell asked for COVID-19 testing to be offered to the wider town.

Ms Pye said: “This is a worrying development and it’s really important that testing of staff and pupils is prioritised. Sedbergh School is a massive part of the town and many people employed there live in our community, so there is a very strong case in offering a test to any local resident who would like one. We must act quickly to protect local people and get this under control.”

The request however has been denied by Cumbria County Council, who say there is no evidence of "above normal" transmission of the virus.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:

“We considered this request carefully but based on the evidence we currently have, mass testing of the whole local population is not warranted. We are continuing to work closely with the school to support their management of the outbreak and the situation remains under review. People living locally should continue to follow the standard advice; if they develop symptoms then self-isolate and get tested, if they test is positive then continue the self-isolation for the required period.”