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Covid-19: Virus cases 'approach 100,000 a day' and the rise of the virtual school tour

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Virus cases 'approach 100,000 a day'

Nearly 100,000 people are catching coronavirus every day in England, according to the latest large-scale monthly survey by Imperial College London. It says the pace of the epidemic is accelerating and estimates the number of people infected is doubling every nine days, with cases currently highest in the North but infections surging more rapidly in the South.

image copyrightPA Media

2. More than 1,700 firms planned job cuts in September

Some 1,734 employers notified the government of plans to cut at least 20 posts last month, putting a total of 82,000 positions at risk, according to figures released to BBC News. That's down on the summer peak but three times the level of September 2019.

image copyrightGetty Images

3. Scrap GCSE exams next year, Welsh regulator urges

The Welsh exams regulator is recommending GCSE exams be scrapped in favour of assessments next summer, while keeping some A-level tests, to offer certainty and fairness to pupils. The Scottish government took a similar move, only keeping exams for Highers - its A-level equivalent, but in England the government is insisting all national exams will go ahead.

image copyrightPA

4. Hundreds of Scout groups 'at risk of closure'

More than 500 Scout groups could close and others face a "bleak" future with coronavirus hampering fundraising, the Scout Association warns. Groups in some of the poorest areas of England have been hit by social distancing measures ending jumble sales, quizzes and car washes, it says, as it launches a fundraising campaign.

image copyrightScout Association
image captionChief Scout Bear Grylls says scouting gives young people important skills and hope for the future

5. The rise of the virtual school tour

How are you supposed to choose a school for your child when you can't visit to see what the options are like? Many schools are opting to use virtual tours and promotional videos to attract prospective students - our video goes through some of the questions parents should consider when talking to staff.

media captionWith the pandemic limiting open days, schools are turning to promotional videos to attract students

And don't forget...

...the rules on self-isolation. You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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