Covid rates in schools appear to have risen once again - just weeks before the summer holidays.

As of Friday, July 2, nine schools in Test Valley have reported at least one case in the past 10 day period.

All remain open, but it means that, in some cases, one or more bubbles will be self-isolating. In others, there is no requirement for a bubble to isolate.

Pupils who are self-isolating will continue their education at home by remote learning.

The school's currently listed as having reported a case on the Hampshire County Council portal are:

  • Andover Primary
  • Appleshaw St Peter's Primary
  • Endeavour Primary
  • Pilgrims' Cross Primary
  • Smannell and Enham Primary
  • St Francis Primary
  • Wallop Primary
  • John Hanson Secondary
  • Romsey Secondary

Despite sustained case reporting, earlier this week Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said school bubbles could be scrapped on July 19 as part of the next step of easing Covid-19 restrictions in England.

Mr Williamson also told MPs he believes pupils “would not be facing” bubble arrangements in September.

The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, added: “Keeping patients and staff safe is an absolute priority for trust leaders, and no-one underestimates the crucial importance of rigorous infection control.

“But we know the continuing self-isolation requirements are a source of frustration for some staff, particularly for those who are double-jabbed, tested negative and want to support their colleagues

“These rules can be disruptive, so it’s important to ensure they are evidence-based and kept under close review.”

It comes as Hampshire's hospitals' emergency departments are “unusually busy” with an increase in children visiting with fevers, coughs, and runny noses.

A&E departments across England have been inundated with a sudden surge in young children suffering from infections usually only seen in winter.

Anxious parents have been bringing in pre-school age children with symptoms such as a high temperature, putting increasing pressure on emergency departments.

Hampshire health leaders are now calling on residents to 'choose well' when seeking support over the summer months, to help alleviate additional pressures from emergency services, while continuing to offer the correct help.

Dr Derek Sandeman, chief medical officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “The impact of the pandemic on the NHS right now is thankfully far less than it has been, but everyone still has a key role to play in helping our frontline teams to give people the best possible help. And if you’re not sure what to do – please ask. Having an injury or illness can be stressful, so the 111 service is there to help you make good choices at a difficult time.”