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Assessing the Risk, when returning to Childcare Settings.

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

On May 15th, the Chair of the National Day Nurseries Association [Purnima Tanuku OBE] was invited to a meeting with members of SAGE and the following advice was offered:

Meeting with the Government’s Independent Scientific Advisors

Today I was invited to take part in a dedicated meeting for early years and educational bodies with the team of the UK Government’s top scientific and medical advisors. This included Prof Chris Whitty the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Patrick Vallance the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Jennifer Harries the DCMO and Allan Bennet from Public Health England among others. The meeting also included major teaching unions and other childcare organisations. The advisors on the panel were clear that their decisions are based on the scientific evidence not Government policy.

In the meeting the advisors went through some of the evidence around risk, what is known and what is not known about the virus. What was clear is that there isn’t a scenario where the risk from the virus can be ruled out entirely. However, there are much lower infection rates, clinical impact and deaths among children than among adults.

Because the disease is new there isn’t the wealth of research evidence that exists for other diseases but some studies have suggested a lower infection and transmission rate in young children. However, this risk is not and will never be zero.

I think it is important to note, there is research being published on a daily basis, the Guardian reported on the 14th May, the NHS published its first breakdown of underlying health conditions related to Covid-19 and it revealed: 83% of serious illness caused by Covid-19 has been experienced by patients with primarily five pre-existing underlying health conditions:

  • T1&T2 Diabetes (26%),

  • Dementia (18%)

  • Serious Breathing Problems (15%)

  • Ischaemic Heart disease [coronary artery disease] (10%),

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (14%)

According to the current research the risk posed to children is very small.

More news on our return will follow this week. as ever keep safe & we look forward to seeing you all soon.

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