Seeing a lot of misinformation spreading around this survey. To clarify, this compares infections between 15-31st March to infections in midst of the second wave in November & December- of course they're lower than then. Importantly they're higher than *before* schools opened. 🧵
This survey also only involves children in schools (so does not include anyone isolating with symptoms, or their contacts, who are at highest risk of infection). The survey actually shows secondary school children surveyed have a higher infection rate than staff(with uncertainty)
Shows that children are likely at least as susceptible to infection compared with adults. There may be more infected children in classrooms possibly also because they're less likely to be symptomatic and therefore isolating.
Importantly, none of this shows the impact of school openings and closures on infection, which is really clear given ONS data showing rapid rises in infection in school-age groups in England just ahead of Easter- with impact on community transmission.

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More from @dgurdasani1

4 May
The DfE is looking at possibly doing away with face coverings in school on the 17th May- despite a review conducted over Easter Break, where they concluded that face coverings reduce transmission & were needed. What new evidence has emerged since then to make them reconsider?🧵
Evidence shows that even in the short period schools were open during March in England we saw a marked increase in positivity among children as per ONS data (not dependent on LFD tests), with school-age children having highest infection rates among all age groups before Easter.
This was also reflected in increase in infections among young adults, and all other age groups (can be seen in figure above as the increase or plateauing of declines in some age groups prior to Easter break). This was also reflected in the community.
Read 11 tweets
4 May
Our joint letter by >20 scientists >400 parents/students & Education unions to Gavin Williamson asking that govt follow data not dates. We support mitigations in schools to continue at this stage given the data.
Letter:
covidactiongroup.net/open-letter-to…

You can support this by signing too
Please support by signing here:
docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAI…
Read 4 tweets
3 May
The 'trials' being carried out in the UK on thousands of people entering crowded indoor venues without masks & social distancing are unethical. Don't just listen to me- listen to Prof Monks- the study lead, who himself accepts people are 'guinea pigs'
Prof Monks, leading the trial, is also the CEO of Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
This trial deliberately exposes thousands of people to possible risk of COVID-19, which has no cure, stripping away measures like masks & distancing that we know protect.
He claims this trial is to make people safer. How does putting people in an indoor crowded, poorly ventilated environment, where people are shouting, without distance/masks make things safer? He claims learning from this is crucial- but we already know these measures protect.
Read 16 tweets
28 Apr
I keep hearing that the UK should open up now... because Israel! There's seems to be a misunderstanding about what actually happened in Israel. Israel has had fairly strict mitigations in place & schools were opened only after 57% of the population was fully vaccinated. Thread
I keep hearing that because infections in Israel have declined during vaccination, this is a sign other countries can open up. What people forget is that Israel didn't follow a vaccine-only policy, but a multi-pronged strategy aimed at containing transmission during roll-out.
Here are a few examples:
Schools in Israel only opened on the 18th April after 57% of their population was *fully* vaccinated, and children wear masks in schools.

They had a mask mandate outdoors & indoors until very recently (much stricter than the UK)

thehindu.com/news/internati…
Read 11 tweets
27 Apr
The govt has recently started trials in schools to replace 10 day quarantine for contacts with daily testing with rapid (LFD) tests for 7 days. The govt is using these as 'green light' tests contradicting both MHRA & CDC recommendations. 🧵

theguardian.com/world/2021/apr…
There is very little transparency around this - to my knowledge the govt has not released ethics documents. It's clear from the information sheets provided to parents that consent is being sought only from children/parents who are willing to substitute isolation with testing.
This doesn't make any sense from an ethical perspective because the entire bubble is exposed to risk when a child who's been exposed is not isolating and rather being tested with LFDs that are known to miss infections, which is why they are only recommended as 'red light tests'
Read 26 tweets
26 Apr
I was invited today to on @NickFerrariLBC to comment on the recent letter by 22 scientists on ending mask use in schools, and opening up the UK without masks & social distancing by June 21. I was *not* told that this would be a 'debate' with Anthony Brooks, one of the signatories
This is a letter that's been signed by Carl Heneghan, Sunetra Gupta, Karol Sikora - the architects of the pseudoscience & several debunked papers that led to the Great Barrington declaration - that caused untold damage to pandemic response across the world.
Both Heneghan and Gupta predicted there would be no 2nd wave. Gupta said early last year that 50% of the population was already immune, and we would reach 'herd immunity' soon. Both opposed pandemic control - & suggested we should let the virus spread through young people.
Read 19 tweets

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