A THIRD of recently recorded coronavirus cases across St Helens involve young people aged between 11 and 19, public health leaders have said.

The figure was revealed at the weekend as school staff and high school students were reminded to take a Covid test before returning from the half term break.

Public health leaders say St Helens rates are currently 26 per 100,000 people (May 28 to June 3) and that this has risen compared to the start of May when rates were at 10 per 100,000.

Rates have been increasing in many areas in the North West.

Latest coronavirus figures from Public Health England show that a third of all recorded new infection cases now involve people aged between 11 and 19.

On Friday St Helens Borough Council urged school staff and high school pupils at all schools to make sure they have a Covid-19 test before returning to school this week.

Year 11 pupils from all schools who may not be returning to classes after the half term break are also advised to take a test if possible, particularly those who are scheduled to return to school to complete practical assessments in the near future.

Ruth du Plessis, director of public health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “I am thankful to the young people and their families who have been testing regularly, it has helped to reduce the number of outbreaks in school and we want to keep our schools open.

"With the likelihood of increased social mixing between pupils during the half term holiday, it is vital that all pupils should ensure they are tested before they return to school.

"We would ask all teaching staff to do the same.

“If any pupils do test positive, we would urge them and their families to isolate immediately.”

School stafff and students were reminded to undergo tests ahead of the return to school

School stafff and students were reminded to undergo tests ahead of the return to school

Anyone who tests positive on a symptom free lateral flow test (either at one of our testing sites or at home) please make sure to isolate and book a PCR test immediately to confirm whether you are positive.

Ms du Plessis added: “The tremendous response that local people have shown in getting themselves tested in recent months has made a real impact with our efforts to try and control the spread of new infections in the community.

“However with the 11 to 19 age group now showing some of the highest rates for new cases in the borough it is especially important that pupils take the correct steps to protect themselves and others during the next few weeks.”

For further details on accessing local test sites and on how to collect a free test kit visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/letsgettested

Anyone in a household who has a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough or loss of sense of taste or smell, you should isolate and book a PCR test immediately.

The vaccination programme in St Helens continues to be rolled out successfully.

Health leaders stress that being vaccinated reduces the risk of serious illness from Covid-19 by "around 80 per cent". It can also help to significantly reduce the risk of passing Covid-19 on to others.

Anyone with concerns about isolating and need support can contact St Helens Together, where we can help with arranging things like food and medicine deliveries for you. Please call 01744 676767 for more details.