SHIELDING SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES
From 6 July, the advice to people who are shielding will change. Clinically extremely vulnerable people will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people they do not live with, while maintaining social distancing. Read the latest information www.gov.uk
From the 6 July, people who are shielding can create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household, following the same rules that apply to the public now. Read the latest information www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding
Priority supermarket delivery slots will continue for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable ‘shielded’. Register online by 17 July to get priority delivery slots at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
Government support is available for people for as long as they are advised to shield – you can get help with food, medicines and care by registering online. Register your support needs at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable by 17 July.
From 1 August, those shielding can visit shops, places of worship and outdoor spaces. Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable to find out what the current guidance is for clinically extremely vulnerable people.
From 1 August, people who are shielding will be able to return to work if they cannot work at home. For anyone concerned about returning to work once the guidance has eased, we recommend they speak to their employer and understand their specific policies around health and safety and workplace attendance, especially in relation to COVID-19. For the latest information go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus
However we understand how difficult this situation is for everyone and we want to prevent families from going into a crisis situation.
USEFUL LINKS TO HELPLINES AND WEBSITES
Warwickshire Welfare Scheme - www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme
Whilst the key Government message remains that 'Every child who can be safely cared for at home, should be' we do not want families to reach crisis point.
We ask that if families are starting to struggle at home they first make contact with school either via messaging Angela Fox on Class Dojo, phoning 07920822005, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by speaking to your allocated Social Worker and asking them to contact school.
If together we are not able to agree a support solution then Families can contact Warwickshire Local Authority on
the parental helpline 01926 412021 from 0800 to 1800 or check the Council’s website for further information.
The parent and carer webpage can be found here-
COVID-19 Guidance for School and Specialist Transport Providers
Warwickshire County Council would like to update you on the current national and local picture with regard to COVID-19, and offer some local advice to support the actions that you are taking to protect the people you transport and your staff, as the situation evolves.
The key message from WCC is that if one of your passengers presents with the symptoms listed below, they should not be transported. If one of their household had the symptoms they should not be transported either.
The staff on the route should inform the family that this is the case, then report this to their managers and WCC Transport Operations.
Key information about the national and local picture with links to key guidance and resources can be found here (this is updated regularly). Public Health England and our local NHS organisations are focusing on identifying close contacts of cases, and ensuring that they self-isolate, as a precautionary measure, and that they are tested if they become unwell.
The majority of people who become unwell with COVID (~85%) have a mild illness, but we know that older people and those with long term conditions are more at risk of serious illness.
Guidance and information for the public can be found here (including information for people to understand what they should do if they are concerned they may have COVID-19:
There are a range of national guidance documents that can be found here to support you in managing staff and supporting customers.:
Of importance to transport providers are the following documents:
Promote regular handwashing with soap and water among both staff and service users – this is one of the best ways to protect yourselves and the people you transport. If soap and water aren’t available, then antibacterial hand gel (with at least 70% alcohol content) is an alternative if hands are visibly clean. Otherwise hand wipes should be used, followed by antibacterial hand gel.
Promote the cleaning of surfaces, handles and seats in the vehicle with anti-bacterial products.
We hope that the above is helpful, and we will endeavour to keep you updated, as the situation evolves.
Updated about COVID-19 – Novel Coronavirus (16th March 2020)
As of last Friday 13th March 2020, we have moved into a new phase of how we look to protect people in the UK from COVID-19, and are moving into the “delay” phase of the COVID-19 action plan, which can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
A press conference was held by the Prime Minister, and the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers on 12th March 2020, who set out the new approach and reasons for it. Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAE8-e5_EKY to watch the press conference in full.
People are now being asked to stay at home:
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible
Detailed information and advice for the public about what they should do can be found https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ on the NHS.uk website (and will be regularly updated). There is some new Stay at Home guidance, which can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
People do not need to phone NHS111 if their symptoms are mild but should do if their symptoms worsen/if they need medical care, or if symptoms do not get better after 7 days. There is also a 111 online service that people are being asked to use in the first instance.
Washing hands regularly with soap and water is one of the best way we can prevent spread of the infection.
There will no longer be a focus on where someone has travelled from/to, and the advice is based on symptoms only. Testing will now be based in hospitals only, and people in the community will not be tested. Asking whole households (i.e. people living in the same household as somebody with symptoms) to stay at home is not advised at this stage, but may be advised later.
Further information for the public about the situation can be found https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public and a dashboard showing confirmed cases can be found https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f94c3c90da5b4e9f9a0b19484dd4bb14
Please see PHE advice against use of COVID rapid tests that are being marketed
Department of Education have a helpline up and running to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
It is extremely important, as the national situation evolves, that we think about how we can best support the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by the outbreak – individuals, families, workplaces, schools, as well as people who are working hard to protect the health of our communities. The Mental Health foundation has some good advice https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak.
Also, following simple advice about washing our hands more regularly with soap and water really can make a difference.
Travel advice is changing regularly as the situation changes internationally. We recommend that you look up country-specific information and advice on the Foreign Office website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Useful guidance, resources and communications materials,
A helpful list of all national guidance has also been published https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance, and this contains guidance for a range of partners/sectors, including guidance for educational settings, adult social care settings (including guidance about returning health and care workers), the transport sector, guidance for employers and businesses as well as advice for professionals advising the public and NHS guidance. Please note that these guidance documents are in the process of being updated to reflect the new key advice described above
PHE have produced a “Finding the Evidence” collection of resources - https://phelibrary.koha-ptfs.co.uk/coronavirusinformation/
Information about 5 things we can all do to protect ourselves and our community can be found https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/04/coronavirus-covid-19-5-things-you-can-do-to-protect-yourself-and-your-community/
A national handwashing poster can be found https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101/resources/5016
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has worked with Future Learn to develop a new free to access online learning programme on COVID-19
Imperial College London have just opened up a new online COVID course.
Letter from the Head
It is always difficult to know when to share and how much information to share with families. Following a couple of people contacting me this week I felt now was the time to update you with school's response and preparations to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The government's action plan was launched on Tuesday and can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
As a school I receive daily updates from the DfE and Public Health England and we are following all of their advice and taking the situation seriously. I have attached a detailed document for families to read with specific Welcombe Hills information in green.
The best way for us to prevent further cases of infection is by following the advice for returning travellers, making sure we all wash our hands regularly with soap and water, and to follow the Catch It, Bin It, Kill it strategy for coughs and sneezes.
The Department for Education now have a coronavirus helpline available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Guidance on COVID-19 in educational settings can also be found at:
In this time of uncertainty I feel that being cautious is probably the best route for the whole school community. We sent home a couple of students on Monday as they had raised temperatures. I understand that there are normal variations and several factors including the time of day that can affect someone's temperature. However at present we will be sending pupils home and we will be requesting that they do not return to school until their temperature is reduced for 24 hours.
Please could I ask families to consider taking their child/young person's temperature before school and keep them at home if their oral temperature is above 37.5 C and/or their Ear/Forehead temperature is above 38 C.
If any families have any further questions, suggestions or would like to discuss this matter with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.
This information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19 any school specific information is written in green.
Information about the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children, but we very much recognise that we have vulnerable children and young people at Welcombe Hills School.
How COVID-19 is spread
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.
There are 2 routes by which people could become infected:
There is currently no good evidence that people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others.
Preventing spread of infection
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
Face masks for the general public, pupils or students, or staff are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.
What to do if children, pupils, students or staff become unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 (either through travel to a specified country or area or contact with a confirmed case)
The advice is to call NHS 111, or 999 in an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk), and if appropriate, explain which country they have returned from in the last 14 days. We have identified a designated isolation space at both main site and The Hub where anyone who becomes unwell and we believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 would be placed whilst we awaited advice from NHS 111 or for an ambulance to arrive.
What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is suspected in your childcare or education setting
If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home. Once the results arrive, those who test negative for COVID-19 will be advised individually about return to education. School would however as an additional precaution inform the families of our medically vulnerable pupils if this situation was to arise.
What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is confirmed in your childcare or education setting
The childcare or educational setting will be contacted by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken. An assessment of each childcare or education setting will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with relevant staff. Advice on the management of pupils or students and staff will be based on this assessment. If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing. We have currently had no confirmed cases.
What to do if pupils, students or staff in your institution are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 who was symptomatic while attending your childcare or educational setting
The definition of a contact includes:
Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others, however:
Family and friends who have not had close contact (as listed above) with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities such as attending childcare or educational settings or work, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell, they should call NHS 111 and explain their symptoms and discuss any known contact with the case to consider if they need further assessment.
If a confirmed case occurs in an educational setting the local Health Protection Team will provide advice and will work with the Head Teacher. We have currently had no contacts of a confirmed case.
What to do if pupils, students or staff in your childcare or educational setting have travelled from any Category 1 specified country/area in the past 14 days
We had no members of staff returning from the Governments Category 1 specified countries/areas following the February half-term holiday and no pupils that we are aware of.
What to do if a pupil, student or staff member has travelled from a Category 2 specified country/area in the last 14 days
We had 2 members of staff who returned from a Category 2 country/area, neither have developed any symptoms within the last 14 days but as an additional precaution they have not supported any of our classes where we have students with medical needs.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Updates on COVID-19: