A REVIEW will take place next week by Lancashire County Council’s director of public health over when schools in Lancashire will re-open.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi has advised schools to delay reopening to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils because, in his professional view, two of the government’s five coronavirus tests are not currently being met in the county.

Lancashire and the North West has a high number of cases compared to many other regions. Similarly, although the weekly death count in Lancashire is showing a downward trend, a consistent decline is not being seen in all areas and, in recent weeks, there has been an increase. It has been reported that the R value for the North West is above 1.

The guidance, which also applies to early years settings, will be reviewed again on 15 June.

Dr Karunanithi said: “I have carefully considered all of the information and data and, for now, my advice remains unchanged. Although there are significantly fewer numbers of cases currently, I am concerned about the high level of infections in the county when compared with other parts of England.

"The death rates are not sustainably decreasing in the county, and reports that the R value is above 1 in the North West should be an early warning sign. It is important to stress that the R value is only one part of the overall picture, it appears to be rising in most parts of Lancashire. Ultimately we all have a role to play in this – we must follow social distancing rules, practise good hand hygiene, and stay at home if we have a cough, fever, loss of smell or taste or when asked to do so by the contact tracing programme.”