COVID-19 Update, 16.11.20

Dear parent/carer,

COVID-19 General Update

You will be aware that we were alerted on Saturday that a student in Year 8 had received a positive COVID test. Consequently we asked all of Year 8 to isolate at home, beginning on Saturday, 14 November.  In addition to this, we were alerted on Monday morning that a member of staff also received a positive COVID case.  These two cases are not linked.

Following discussion with Public Health, we have gone through a rigorous process of identifying the close contacts of the positive cases. This has resulted in 119 students needing to complete the full 14 day isolation from their last contact with the positive case. If your child is one of the students needing to isolate, you will be aware of this.

So that you are aware of the process we go through to identify what makes a child a ‘close contact’ of another student, I thought it would be helpful to share this with you. We take the following factors into account:

  • How has the child travelled to school? Who have they come into face to face contact with? Have they been closer than 2m?
  • What classes has the child attended? Who have they sat next to? What other children are within 2m of the confirmed case? Have the windows and doors of the classroom been open throughout the lesson?
  • Has the child spent face-to-face time with other students at break and lunch? If so, for how long? Was this outside, or inside? If inside, how close to the windows/doors did they sit?

You can see that key mitigating factors are how well ventilated enclosed spaces are, as well as whether contact is face to face, for how long, and at what distance. The distance of 2m is based on the scientific evidence of how far droplets travel from one person to another.

Transmission within South Gloucestershire school settings is low, and to maintain this we will continue to: keep classroom windows and doors open, arrange classrooms so all students are facing forwards, remind students of the need to socially distance from their friends and staff, and enforce the now mandatory wearing of face masks when students are moving between lessons.

It is essential that we do not isolate students at home for 14 days unnecessarily, because of the impact on their learning and their mental well-being, but it is also essential that we do not risk COVID-19 spreading within the school community. Please trust that we will not risk putting your child and your family at risk by allowing any students to return to school who have been in close contact with the confirmed case.

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19

Do not send your child to school, advise us immediately, and arrange for your child to be tested through the NHS online portal www.nhs.uk or by calling 119. DO NOT call 111 to try and book a test. All members of your household should then isolate for as long as you are advised to do so. Please do not request a test unless your child develops symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19

If your child has any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, get a test as soon as possible. The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature – where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

For most children, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

It is fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or cold. They should attend school if they are fit to do so. But if they have a fever, keep them off school until the fever goes. Get advice from NHS 111 if you’re worried about your child and not sure what to do – it could be another illness and not COVID-19.

South Gloucestershire Council has produced a quick COVID-19 guide for parents and carers to help you understand when NOT to send your child to school, the steps to take and when to send them back. Visit www.southglos.gov.uk/schoolreturn to view the guide.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

Remember there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. It is everyone’s responsibility to do the right thing.

HANDS, FACE, SPACE:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering
  • Keep your distance from others

If you have any worries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Take good care,

Ms K Garland, Headteacher