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Covid Control Measures from 2nd November 2021

Monday 1st November 2021

Dear Parents & Carers,

 

In light of the increase in local case rates and outbreaks within school settings, schools have received a co-signed letter from the South West Regional Schools Commissioner, South West UK Health Security Agency (formerly PHE) and the South West Directors of Public Health.

This letter requests that we review our outbreak management plan and risk assessments, following the half term break, and consider reintroducing additional control measures to reduce transmission next term, such as:

  • The introduction of face coverings in communal areas
  • Reduced mixing between groups of pupils as much as possible including ‘whole school’ assemblies and any other ‘large gatherings’
  • Risk assess extra-curricular after school clubs and put into place additional control measures. This does not include wraparound care; which should continue to run except in exceptional circumstances in response to an outbreak (as advised by health protection teams) or due to staffing constraints.
  • Daily LFD testing for all close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace whilst individuals await their PCR results, particularly household contacts. As this will apply to primary aged pupils, it would be at the discretion of the parent/guardian
  • Promote and publicise the effectiveness of vaccination as the best protection for all eligible cohorts including staff and students.

This will be in addition to continuing our efforts around good infection control practices (ventilation, touch point cleaning, routine twice weekly LFD testing for all adults and hygiene).

To this end, for the first two weeks after half-term, we will

  • Hold any parent visits virtually for at least the first two weeks; this includes any SEND reviews or MY Plan meetings.
  • Continue to plan for Parent’s evenings to happen as planned during the week beginning 15th November, however we may have to revert to all parents having phone calls. Further details booking appointments will be sent out this week and we will keep you posted on any details of updated guidance.
  • Ask staff and parents to wear masks at drop offs (between 8.30-8.55am; pick up at 3.15pm)
  • Ensure 2 m social distance is adhered to in restricted areas like offices and staff room. Where this is not possible, facemasks should be worn.
  • Minimise year group mixing by continuing to have separate Lower School and Upper School Assemblies where children cannot be spaced out or have whole school Assemblies online.
  • Postpone restarting all extra-curricular after school clubs until at least the week commencing 15th November.
  • Postpone the School discos. Details to follow.
  1. above measures will be in place for the next 2 weeks and will be reviewed in the light of current infection rates at the time. Further measures may need to be implemented but we will give you as much notice as we possibly can should arrangements change.
  1. and Isolation
  1. rapidly rising infections in Gloucestershire have triggered thresholds for additional action and we continue to receive updated guidance. With these ever changing thresholds, it can be difficult to know what to do if we suspect that someone may have COVID-19.
  1. hope that the following information will hopefully clarify the situation, particularly with the updated guidance for LFD testing of children under 11.

Symptomatic? New continuous cough – Fever 37.8 or over – Loss of smell or taste As soon as anyone becomes symptomatic, they should isolate immediately and arrange to have a PCR test to see if they have COVID-19. If the result is negative, they can return to school as soon as they feel well. If the result is positive they should self-isolate for 10 days.

LFD Tests (Lateral Flow Tests)

Whilst routine LFD testing on children under 11 is not currently recommended nationally, we have received guidance from South West Public Health and South West Health Security Agency which suggests that parents may wish to test their children twice a week.

If you choose to use a LFD test on your child you must take the appropriate action and self- isolate and get a PCR test if it is positive. If your child is displaying symptoms (and you are not sure if they are COVID related) and the LFD test is negative you must also self-isolate and book a PCR test.

If in doubt whether it is cold symptoms or COVID symptoms, please book a PCR test.

We have also been advised to inform parents that household contacts of a confirmed case should take daily LFD tests whilst they await their PCR results and continue to attend school until the result of the PCR test is known. This is at the parents’ discretion but is strongly recommended.

Close Contacts

All close contacts of confirmed cases are advised to take a PCR test. If close contacts are under 18 years 6 months, are fully vaccinated, have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial or not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons they do not need to self-isolate.

Already had COVID-19?

If someone has recently (within 90 days) had a positive PCR test for COVID-19, they are likely to have developed some immunity. Individuals are exempt from testing by both PCR and LFD within 90 days of a positive PCR test, unless they develop new symptoms, in which case they should isolate and arrange for a PCR test.

What if my child starts to show symptoms at school?

If your child starts to show COVID symptoms at school, we will contact you and ask you to collect your child and to arrange for a PCR test. Your child must not return to school until you receive the result. We respectfully ask that you keep us up to date with the outcome of the test result.

If in doubt whether it is cold symptoms or COVID symptoms, please book a PCR test.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding in keeping our school community safe.

 

Best wishes

 

Miss Geraldine Brogan

Headteacher

 

  • Dinglewell Junior School,
  • Dinglewell,
  • Hucclecote,
  • Gloucester,
  • GL3 3HS,
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