COVID-19 Parent Briefing regarding
Current situation: Taken from today’s briefing paper from Public Health Warwickshire
As of today (13th March 2020), we are moving 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.
People are now being asked to stay at home for 7 days if they have either: • a high temperature • a new continuous cough.
Detailed information and advice for the public about what they should do can be found on the NHS.uk website (and will be regularly updated).
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 to stay at home is not advised at this stage, but may be advised later.
Update about how we are and will manage the risk of COVID-19 in school.
We aim to take a measured approach in our response.
We are updated regularly by Public Health and the Local Authority and will act upon their instruction swiftly and decisively.
Actions taken so far:
All external trips from this week and next have been cancelled including swimming. School will have to absorb any financial implications regarding cancellation. If parents would like a refund please contact the school office and we will arrange a reimbursement as soon as possible within the next 28 working days.
Staff will not attend any external training, workshops or meetings.
Doodlebugs workshops cancelled.
Hand washing tutorials shared with all children. Additional resources purchased. Increase in the number of times children wash their hands. On entry and exit to school from outside, after coughing/blowing nose, eating PE etc.
All bins in school to have a method of closing.
We are considering:
Limiting all external visitors to school – e.g. new parent visits, job tours and interviews, coaches, supply teachers etc.
How to best manage staff shortages – it is most likely that we will close the classes affected from staff absence should they occur.
Requests to parents:
If you are a parent helper, thank you so much for your help it really is invaluable. However can we please halt all parent help until further notice.
If you are able and willing please provide your child with a pencil, pen as appropriate, rubber, ruler, coloured pencils so that we can reduce the sharing of equipment.
Please keep your children at home for 7 days if they have either: • a high temperature • a new continuous cough.
How can you help?
1) Wash your hands frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue
One of the ways we become infected, or pass on viruses to others, is through the droplets in coughs and sneezes – for instance through someone who has a virus, coughing onto their hand, then touching a door handle.
A simple and effective way to protect yourself from coronavirus is by making sure you wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or a hand sanitiser if you are out and about. It’s particularly important to wash your hands once you get home or arrive at work or before you prepare or eat food.
If you are unwell it’s vital that you catch your coughs and sneezes in a tissue, or use your arm if needed, throw the tissues away, then wash your hands.
Please see link below – NHS website – video
|How to wash your hands Washing your hands is one of the simplest ways you can protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning and flu. www.nhs.uk|
2) Be prepared to self-isolate
If COVID-19 begins to spread in the community over the coming days or weeks, people with symptoms of coronavirus (such as a cough or fever) may be asked to self-isolate at home.
This may mean staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people for up to 14 days.
If the virus is spreading quickly, we may ask whole households to self-quarantine, if anyone in the home has symptoms.
It’s very important to point out that we expect that the majority of people who catch COVID-19 will not need to see a health professional as their symptoms will be mild, such as those you might expect with a cold or flu and treatable at home.
We understand that being asked to self-isolate could be inconvenient, frustrating or boring, particularly if you have mild symptoms and feel well enough to go out, but we will only ask people to do this if doctors and scientists believe it is necessary in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, protect people who are vulnerable and help the NHS manage capacity.
Look out for updates from Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care or the NHS who will let you know if and when we recommend self-isolation for people with symptoms. If you need to self-isolate, please read this important information on the NHS website as it will explain what you need to do.
3) Plan ahead based on your situation
There are a number of ways to slow down an infectious disease outbreak. Well-established tactics include self-isolation as mentioned above, as well as measures sometimes referred to as “social distancing.”
One example of social distancing could be encouraging more working from home for instance, or another option could involve urging people to continue to go to work or school as usual, but reduce social activity or non-essential travel.
Looking ahead, what preparations could you put in place to help you self-isolate if you needed to?
Do you have friends or neighbours who could bring food to your house or run errands, or could you do online shopping?
Could you talk to your employer about opportunities to work from home if this became necessary?
If you might be more vulnerable to severe symptoms of coronavirus, have you considered the activities you have planned over the coming weeks, listing which are essential and which you could cancel if you needed to? Could you arrange to work from home?
Don’t forget to think of others too. Do you have friends, family or neighbours who might need extra help?
We understand that people will want to know whether and when any social distancing measures (such as home working and limiting travel, school closures or limiting public gatherings) could happen but it is not possible to confirm this now.
These measures would only be implemented if scientists and experts, including the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, decide they are necessary and proportionate, informed by the latest scientific evidence.
Any decision will balance both the need to protect people with the importance of maintaining day to day life such as going to work or school.
4) Use health services wisely
If in the coming weeks COVID-19 is spreading in the community this could mean the NHS is busier than usual so it’s important to think carefully about the NHS services you use.
If you start to experience symptoms and believe you could have coronavirus, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital as you could pass the infection to others. Visit NHS UK’s coronavirus (COVID-19) page or contact NHS 111 if you need to speak to someone.
The first cases of COVID-19 in the UK were taken to specialist hospital wards so we could learn more about the virus and prevent it spreading to anyone else, but if we begin to see the virus spreading in the community this approach will no longer be appropriate. It is unnecessary for everyone with COVID-19 to go to hospital as the majority will have mild symptoms.
We expect the majority of people who catch COVID-19 will make a full recovery without medical attention, but if you are concerned because you believe you are at greater risk, or feel your symptoms are becoming more severe, contact NHS 111 or alternatively 999 in an emergency.
5) Stay up to date using trusted sources of information
Since COVID-19 began to spread quickly in China, it has been a major global news story and with this level of media and public interest it’s inevitable that myths, misinformation and rumours will be shared online.
The UK Government and the NHS will keep people informed of new advice and developments. Please check the following sources of advice frequently:
- The UK coronavirus (COVID-19) page will keep you in touch with how the Government is responding.
- The NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) page includes a wide range of health-related information.
- If you are planning to travel abroad check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice page.
- Follow Public Health England or The Department of Health and Social Care on Twitter for regular updates.
If school closes:
We are currently looking into ways that teachers may be able to deliver remote learning to your children – further details to follow as they unfold.
We will be heavily reliant on our ‘myschoolapp’, groupcall, email, the school website, BSA FB page for communication so it would be really helpful if you ensure you have access to all of these methods of communication.
Teachers are preparing online resources for e.g. PiXL – including times table app and PiXL unlock, Purple mash, Mathletics, Maths with parents, accelerated reader as well as other online resources that are becoming available by the hour.
This is not a win-win situation and we will absolutely not please everyone with our measures. However we are trying to be pro-active and mitigate against infection in order to do what we can to safeguard all of the children and adults in our community.
I am sure that there will be things we have missed and/or not thought of yet.
I am very happy for people with information, knowledge or ideas to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I will keep you updated as anything new emerges.
Thankyou in hope and anticipation of your understanding and co-operation at this un-precedented time.
Angela L Stanton Head teacher
With the support of Joe Cannon Chair of Governors and the School Governing body