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Coronavirus and COVID-19 Information

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Lancashire COVID-19 Flowchart

25/05/2021: National COVID-19 Guidance Updated

 

The gov.uk website was updated on 21st May 2021 to state the following. 

Whilst All Saints' is not in one of the listed areas, we know that pupils and staff travel to and from these areas, so should follow the guidance.

 

If you’re in an area where the new COVID-19 variant is spreading.

 

This new variant is sometimes referred to as the variant first identified in India. It is spreading fastest in:

 

The new COVID-19 variant spreads more easily from person to person. To help stop the spread, you should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble.

 

In the areas listed above, wherever possible, you should try to:

  • meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or education

 

You should also:

  • Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive
  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Get vaccinated when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well

 

You should get tested for COVID-19. This includes:

 

You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19. There is financial support if you’re off work because of coronavirus.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#if-youre-in-an-area-where-the-new-covid-19-variant-is-spreading

21/05/2021: Lancashire Guidance Updated - wear face coverings; keep testing; get vaccinated.

 

In recent days we have become aware of increasing COVID-19 case numbers in the local area, and increasing numbers of pupils being required to self-isolate.

 

Lancashire Resilience Forum this week issued the following advice:

'Directors of public health from Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are advising pupils and staff in schools and colleges to continue wearing face coverings until 21 June, despite restrictions relaxing nationally from May 17. 

This decision has come following a recommendation from directors of public health across the North West, amid concerns about the spread of the Covid variant first detected in India, which has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a “variant of global concern”. 

Continuing to use face coverings in schools along with maintaining hand washing, social distancing, fresh air and regular testing will help to control the spread of the variant. 

The advice will be reviewed ahead of 21 June, the next milestone in the Government's roadmap. 

In recent days we have been made aware of increasing numbers of schools and colleges with variant-related concerns, with people being in school during the infectious period. 

They are spread across most districts in Lancashire and require immediate action to prevent further spread and disruption of education. 

A sector specific Education Incident Management Team has been formed to respond to the situation.

 

Immediate control measures 

1. Schools are being advised to strictly follow the standard operating procedure for managing incidents, isolating the cases and close/direct contacts swiftly. 

2. Anyone who is a close contact must isolate immediately. 

3. All close contacts and their household members are asked to book a PCR test online, especially if they have got concerns or symptoms related to Covid. 

4. All close contacts are requested to participate without fail when they get contacted by NHS Test and Trace or Public Health teams. 

5. All eligible adults over 18 should book their vaccine. 

 

The current eligibility criteria is: 

a. Aged 38 and over 

b. Aged 18 and over with any underlying health conditions 

c. Aged 18 and over AND living, caring or working with anyone with underlying health conditions 

d. Health and Social Care staff e. Any carers – paid or unpaid. You will not be asked for proof as unpaid carers are eligible. 

 

More information on eligibility criteria for vaccinations here: https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/CovidVaccination/news/nhs-vaccination-lead-urges-book-nhscovid-jab-without-delay'

 

With this in mind it essential that we all do our very best to minimise the risk of spread, and to minimise the risk of severe illness if infected.

 

Our school COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management Plan (https://www.allsaintshigh.lancs.sch.uk/coronavirus-risks-and-management-1/) details the steps to be taken to be taken to minimise the risk of spread, most particularly:

~ people who are ill stay at home

~ reduce contacts (stay in bubbles) and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible

~ minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable

~ robust hand and respiratory hygiene

~ enhanced cleaning arrangements

~ active engagement with NHS Test and Trace

 

In order to identify cases it is really important that staff, students and families complete and report their twice-weekly Lateral Flow Tests. 

 

I the event that a case is detected it is essential that we are able to contact trace and direct to self-isolate, so all staff must ensure registers and seating plans are maintained.

 

Thank you all for your support.

20/05/2021: Lancashire COVID-19 Testing Guidance Updated

17/05/2021: Face covering recommendation for Lancashire schools and colleges

 

This weekend schools in Lancashire received the following message regarding the continuing recommendation to wear face coverings indoors:

 

I am writing to you to advise that your students and staff should continue to wear face coverings despite restrictions relaxing nationally next week.

As you will be aware, we are concerned locally about the spread across the region of the variant of global concern that was first detected in India. This step would be a prudent one that will help reduce outbreaks in schools and colleges, and help ensure you can stay open.

I am therefore recommending that you continue to follow the current guidance on face coverings until 21 June, the next landmark in the government's "roadmap". The guidance will be reviewed ahead of this date.

Continuing to use face coverings in schools and colleges along with maintaining hand washing, social distancing, fresh air and regular testing will help to control the spread of the variant.

My counterpart in Blackburn with Darwen is of the same view as me and will be providing the same advice to head teachers in his area.

I understand that this is a tough recommendation to make, but taking this step will help reduce outbreaks. This is vital so we can build on the good work to keep levels of infection, hospital admissions and the numbers of people becoming seriously ill low.

We want to do all we can to keep our schools and colleges open. The classroom is the best place for young people to learn. Wearing face coverings for just a few weeks longer until we control the situation is an effective way of helping us to do this.

Of course, ultimately the decision on whether or not to follow this guidance is one for you as a head teacher.

Finally, can I once again thank you for your support throughout the pandemic. Schools and colleges have been on the front line throughout the Covid crisis and your leadership, dedication and hard work has been vital to help get us through.

Yours faithfully

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

Director of Public Health and Wellbeing

Lancashire County Council

 

Further to this recommendation we ask all pupils, staff and visitors to continue to bring and wear face coverings while indoors at school.

 

Best wishes, the All Saints' Team.

DfE Coronavirus Guidance for Schools

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