Important COVID 19 Update 1.12.21
The health and wellbeing of our children, young people and families remains our highest priority and we appreciate the support and understanding you have provided during this pandemic.
This week several positive cases of Covid-19 have been reported to school. We wish any member of the school community who is currently ill a speedy recovery.
We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
School remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well. We encourage household members to twice weekly lateral flow test to help identify cases promptly. (I have been informed this morning by Public health England that LFTs are recommended for all not just those over 11 years as previous guidance stated)
Children in Desert class have been identified as close contacts. The advice we have received from Lancashire Public Health advises close contacts to arrange a PCR test. When ordering a PCR test it is important to check the box (online) or tell 119 ‘I’ve been told to get a test by my health protection team’ and not ‘I’ve been told to get a test by my school or nursery’.
Further guidance can be found at Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person
Considering the current situation, we would like to emphasise some key points to help us manage this so we can minimise disruption to education.
- Notifying us as soon as possible if your child has had a positive Covid-19 test
- Making sure if your child has symptoms of Covid-19 they isolate and book a test immediately, then follow the advice given when you get the result
- If your child has other symptoms or is not feeling well, then they must stay away from school as normal if they are unwell and book a PCR test.
- You can book a test online and click the option that says: "My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms." If the result is positive your child will need to isolate as per guidance.
- Continue with routine twice weekly Lateral Flow testing at home. Anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test unless they develop any new symptoms of Covid-19.
Government Guidance enables us to apply additional measures, based on our risk assessment and discussion with our Public Health Outbreak Team, these will now include:
- All staff and visitors to wear face masks in corridors and communal areas around school.
- Temporarily stopping face to face assemblies and to deliver virtually in school. The Toy Service in church is cancelled. Donations can be brought into school and will be sent to church for the service on Sunday.
- Class bubbles reinstated so that children are in consistent groups throughout the day to minimise contacts
- Staff movement between bubbles will be reduced where possible
- Staff will maintain social distancing with other adults
- Parents and visitors in school will be limited and by appointment only
- Staggered pick up will begin Thursday 2nd December 2021
Star Class 3.15pm
Siblings and family groups 3.20pm
Single child pick up 3.30pm
- Parents are asked to wear masks and pick up and drop off
- Clubs will finish today to minimise contact between bubbles
- Christmas events will not go ahead ‘live’. This is not a decision we have made lightly, and we appreciate that everyone was looking forward to once again experiencing our usual Christmas events. The decision has been made in consultation with other local headteachers and Public Health England. The Christmas Fair is unable to go ahead in any form tomorrow due to children being in class bubbles. Further information will be sent on the Friday Letter.
We will of course continue with our enhanced cleaning, ventilation and hygiene measures.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID- 19) or by calling 119.
If your child does receive a positive PCR test result, please contact school as soon as possible.
Monday – Friday 8.00 - 4.30 via telephone 01253 790282
Evenings and weekends via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)
From 16 August, you are not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
· you are fully vaccinated
· you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
· you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
· you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID- 19.
Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.
Household members who are not exempt from isolation as close contacts should not go to work, school/college/childcare/education setting or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
Instructions for household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 16 August
Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self- isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:
· limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
· wearing a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded places such as school/college/public transport
· limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
· taking part in regular LFT testing
You should follow this advice while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self- isolating.
If you are a health or social care worker or a student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate
immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus- symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading
We will remain vigilant, as always, in school and should your child develop any symptoms during the school day you will be contacted immediately to collect your child and following Government advice, take them for a PCR test.
Please be aware that should we ever be in the position that positive test results are confirmed in all class staff, that supply staff will be sourced if available. We will, as always, do our ultimate best to secure continuity within supply staff but under the current circumstances please do be aware that this cannot be guaranteed by the supply agencies.
Thanks again for your continued support in understanding the position we are in as we try to keep all of our children and staff within school safe and families at home too.
With my very best wishes,