Battle on to keep Omicron threat at bay

As the battle against the Covid Omicron variant goes on, mask wearing is now a feature in secondary schools and the NHS mobile vaccination van will be returning to Fylde next week to offer Covid booster jabs, along with first and second doses for those yet to be fully vaccinated.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 3:45 pm

The van will be at the Coach and Horses car park, Preston Old Road, Freckleton on Monday, January 10 from noon to 7pm and North Promenade car park, St Annes the following day, also noon to 7pm. It will also be at Staining Community Centre on Monday, January 17.

No appointment is necessary. Everyone aged 12 and over can get a first and second dose of the vaccine, while a booster dose is available for everyone aged 18 and over, and some people aged 16 and over, who have had two doses of the vaccine at least three months ago.

Combined with the recommendation that face coverings should be worn in classrooms by children aged over 11, national and local government officials feel this presents the strongest possible defence against Omicron and other variants as children return to school.

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The vaccination van will be in Freckleton on Monday and St Annes on Tuesday next week.

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“Coronavirus infections have risen to unprecedented levels in the last few weeks, and as our children go back to classes it is more important than ever to ensure that all of us are as protected as can be.

“I would urge anyone who has yet to receive their first, second, or booster jabs to attend a walk-in session or book an appointment as soon as possible.”

Ray Baker, headteacher at Lytham St Annes High School, Fylde’s biggest school, said: “We asked students to wear face coverings before Christmas and they were brilliant. We also have on-site testing, but as our families are testing at home, we are confident that these will return negative results.

“We are asking students to wear face coverings in the building. This includes lessons, moving between rooms and when queuing in the dining room.

“We have taken a sensible and measured approach over the last two years and follow the government guidance wherever possible.

“Our community has been incredibly supportive and we are grateful for their continued understanding.

“This is especially the case when we have been required to make last minute alterations and adaptations in order to meet government changes.

“We have also advised parents that there may be disruption to school attendance this term, caused by the numbers of staff expected to isolate as a result of Covid. “We have continued to develop our remote-learning provision and are ready for any potential move to remote learning.

“While we will do everything possible to avoid this, we now know that we can move to this quickly without impacting the long term learning of the children.

“Our priority, as always, is to keep children and staff safe and ensure the very best possible experience for everyone. Our values of integrity and respect are always displayed, but we have asked children and staff to be patient, kind and flexible and they have been brilliant.

“We do everything possible to make school as normal as possible and continue to be proud of our staff and students and appreciate the support of governors and families.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I know people across Fylde will continue to play their part in limiting transmission of this virus as much as possible and protecting others.

“Simple, limited measures remain in place which have now been reinforced by testing and face covering rules in secondary schools.

“The Government continues to monitor the situation closely, taking into account not only the impact of growing case numbers of hospital admissions but the challenges isolation rules pose to education providers and our NHS.

“The most important thing anyone can do is to get vaccinated if they are eligible. Fylde continues to be ahead of the national trend but there will still be those who have not had their first, second or booster doses. People should get theirs booked in as soon as possible and ensure they abide by the regulations which remain in place.

“As the Prime Minister has said, we are in a better place than this time last year but undoubtedly risks remain.”

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