An outbreak of Covid-19 is understood to be linked to a gathering involving teenagers living in Hertsmere.

A total of 39 cases have been confirmed in Hertsmere since August 25 - including six which were announced on the government’s daily coronavirus dashboard today.

The spike in Hertsmere is out of keeping because for weeks, the number of new cases in the area have been low and stable (no more than 10 over a seven-day period).

Public health officials in Hertfordshire have been investigating the source of the outbreak and believe the bulk of the new cases is related to a gathering which took place between teenagers.

Yavneh College in Borehamwood has confirmed that a number of its pupils are self-isolating, after pupils either tested positive or came into contact with people who have tested positive.

Head teacher Spencer Lewis said: "There are some Yavneh College pupils who currently need to isolate and who will not be able to start school on time next week. Most of these pupils were in direct contact with the few who have tested positive and all I am pleased to say, have only mild symptoms.

"We are liaising with Public Health England and are following their advice closely. These are difficult times for everyone.

"We will soon be contacting those pupils who are isolating with details as to how they can access and complete their school work while they are away from school."

Borehamwood Times:

Spencer Lewis, head teacher at Yavneh College

In a media briefing this week, Hertfordshire County Council urged youngsters to act more responsibly – after a rise in cases in the borough of Dacorum was also linked to young people.

It was also mentioned in the briefing that testing in Hertsmere has been higher than anywhere else in the county for some time - nearly 900 per 100,000 over a seven day period, compared to a county average of around 650 - but only very recently have the number of cases risen.

At least 12 people living in Hertsmere tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday alone – and a map updated daily has given an indication of where in Hertsmere they may be from.

Six new cases appeared in Bushey Heath in today’s update, which includes cases from Sunday for the first time.

Further cases have been identified in Radlett, Cowley Hill in Borehamwood, and across the wards of Elstree and Aldenham.

Specifically, between August 24 and 30, six cases have been found in Bushey Heath, six in Radlett, five in Cowley Hill, and four in Elstree and Aldenham.

Ten further cases identified in this period will be spread around the rest of Hertsmere.

In the seven days to August 31, the case rate in Hertsmere is 33.5 (35 cases) - the 16th highest rate in England, and the highest in southern England, including London boroughs.

Hertsmere was one of the worst affected areas for Covid-19 during the peak of the pandemic and at one stage, it had the highest death rate in the whole of England.

Care home outbreaks in Hertsmere contributed to its high death total with 15 out of the borough’s 17 care homes recording at least one case of Covid-19 during the peak in the spring.

On Wednesday, the director for Public Health England in Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, confirmed there were no current reports of any cases in Hertsmere’s care homes.

Data published this week by the Office for National Statistics shows a total of 181 deaths of people living in Hertsmere where Covid-19 appeared on the death certificate – which is the highest in Hertfordshire.

A death in a hospital in the week ending August 21 was the first Covid-19 death of someone living in Hertsmere for more than a month.

According to a map released by the ONS last week, the wards in Hertsmere which have experienced the most Covid-19 deaths are Potters Bar Parkfield (30 deaths), Bushey Heath (27), Cowley Hill (24) and Elstree & Aldenham (15).