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COVID-19 advice for parents/carers in Hedgehog, 4D and route 244

Dear parent or carer,

We have been made aware of confirmed positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at school. We have followed the national guidance and, following a risk assessment with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advisers, have been informed that this may indicate an outbreak. This means that we are required to take additional actions to prevent further spread of infection.

Due to the number of cases in your child’s class/travel route we are advising they undertake daily rapid lateral flow device (LFD) testing each morning before they attend school until 24th January 2022.

Whilst daily LFD testing is not mandated, it has been advised by the public health professionals as an additional supportive measure during this outbreak. We appreciate you supporting our joint effort of minimising the disruption to your child’s education and reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. LFD tests are available via community testing sites, local pharmacies or you can order online for home delivery.

LFD tests should only be used by people without symptoms of COVID-19. If your child’s LFD test is negative, and they remain without symptoms, they should attend school as usual. If the test is positive please inform us immediately by telephone, isolate at home and report online or by calling 119.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19

Symptoms of 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 your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should get a PCR test (https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 and remain at home at least until the result is known. This is the case even if they have previously tested negative on an LFD or PCR test.

  • If negative, the child can end self-isolation and return to school once well (including at least 24 hours fever free without medication);
  • If positive, the child should isolate as a positive case (see below)

People who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until they are well (48 hours fever free) and either:

  1. 10 full days have passed, or
  2. They have produced two negative LFD tests at least 24 hours apart, with the first taken no earlier than day 6.

Note: Lingering coughs and changes to smell/taste are not a sign of ongoing infectiousness, so children can return to school if they have ended their self-isolation period (see above).

You can seek advice about COVID-19 symptoms from the nhs.uk website. 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.

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.

Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic awaiting a test result

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to 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, advised to take extra caution, and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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.

You are not required to self-isolate if 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 (note this is currently under review and may be updated to include a booster dose in due course).

In line with national guidance for households with Covid-19 infection, household and other close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should undertake daily LFD testing for a period of 7 days or for 10 days from their last contact with the positive case (whichever is first). This is recommended for all close contacts aged 5 and over who are not required to isolate.

Children aged under 5 who are close contacts are not required to isolate and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under the age of 5 lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 they will be advised to avoid contact with those at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19 and to take a one-off PCR test as soon as possible.

You are required to self-isolate if you are aged over 18 years and 6 months and if any of the following apply:

  • You have received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • You have not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination
  • You are not otherwise exempt

Household members who need to self-isolate as close contacts should not go to work, school or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. You should ask friends or family if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.

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.

How to reduce spread of COVID-19 as a household contact who is not required to self-isolate

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 of COVID-19 infections.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community:

  • Test daily using LFDs for 7 days
  • Limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces (when not in school)
  • Wear a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilates spaces and when you are in close contact with other people
  • Limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid-19
  • Follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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 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.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Get vaccinated – everyone aged 12 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
  • Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
  • Wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it is hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • Participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results

Further Information

Further information is available at

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Yours sincerely

Tracy Felstead

Headteacher

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