Update: 17th March 2020
Following Boris’ press conference yesterday the government have issued new advice which will impact on schools and your families.
If you or a member of your family display either of the symptoms of a persistent cough or high temperature (anything at 37.8 degrees and above), you are now being advised to self-isolate as a complete household for a total of 14 days.
This is a huge change to previous advice and has implications for you as a family.
Even if you and your family feel well, or have symptoms for only a short time, it is crucial that you follow the advice and self-isolate for the whole 14 days to prevent further spread of the virus.
Please be extra careful with elderly relatives or those listed as vulnerable.
There is no need to dial the NHS helpline unless symptoms worsen or have not disappeared after 7 days.
If your child has an illness which does not include the symptoms mentioned above then normal school process is followed eg if sickness or diarrhea they return after 48 hours from being clear.
For information on what self-isolation means please click the links below:
Teachers are working on ways to continue to provide your children with an education while they are off and details of this will be issued as soon as the work becomes available.
Update:13th March 2020 Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase
Yesterday, the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:
The symptoms are:
|A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)A new, continuous cough|
To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.
You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.
The Department for Education have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
|· No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.|
- 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:
• difficulty in breathing
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
- 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:
• secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs
• it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).
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:
• washing your hands often – with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
• covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
• people who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting
• pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
o before leaving home
o on arrival at school
o after using the toilet
o after breaks and sporting activities
o before food preparation
o before eating any food, including snacks
o before leaving school
• use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
• avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• avoid close contact with people who are unwell
• clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
• if you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child or colleague, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
• see further information on the Public Health England Blog and the NHS UK website.
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.
People who have returned from Category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending an education setting or work until 14 days after they return.
People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms. All other pupils or students and staff should continue to attend school or university, including their siblings attending the same or a different school (unless advised not to by public health officials).
There is no need to change how you handle post, packages or food received from the affected regions. The virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through post or packages. It is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food.