COVID - September 2021
We are writing to inform you that there are likely to be cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) from time to time in this next phase of living with COVID-19 in the community. Please be reassured that for most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. The purpose of this communication is to remind you of the importance of all pupils and staff, regardless of age, and their families remaining vigilant regarding COVID-19, and indeed other infections, to protect their own health as well as the health of others around them.
We will not be routinely informing of individual cases as they occur, as this is no longer an expectation. This is because, in line with Government guidelines, we will not be restricting the attendance of close contacts who are under 18 and 6 months or double vaccinated, only those individuals who have symptoms and/or who have tested positive or close contacts over 18 years 6 months who are not double vaccinated. If your child is identified as a close contact of the confirmed case, you may be contacted by NHS Test and Trace who will advise you on what to do next.
However, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will work closely with Public Health England if the number of cases escalates to meet the thresholds for considering further steps. If this occurs, then further measures could be introduced but at this stage this is not deemed necessary. The setting remains open, and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.
Further guidance on self-isolation, symptoms to look out for, testing, and how to prevent further spread of COVID-19 are included below.
Close contacts who are not required to self-isolate
You are no longer required to self-isolate if you are notified you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
- you are fully vaccinated (meaning that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
- you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
- you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.
This means that students who are under the age of 18 years and 6 months or older students who are fully vaccinated can still attend the educational setting if identified as a close contact. However, it is recommended to get a PCR test if the child is over 5 years old and to avoid anyone who is extremely clinically vulnerable during the ten days following their last close contact with the case.
Regular asymptomatic testing
All parents are advised to continue with the routine twice weekly asymptomatic LFD COVID-19 testing for themselves and anyone aged 11 and above in their household. Further information about LFD home test kits is available here: Home test kits | Health and social care | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared.
If your child has a positive PCR test result but does not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119.
Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a PCR test result)
Please see the stay at home guidance with information of what the household should do and who is exempt from isolation as a close contact. Even if you are exempt it is recommended that close contacts get a PCR test if aged 5 and over, and undertake other measures outlined in the guidance such as limiting contact with anyone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and wear a face covering in enclosed spaces while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111. In an emergency dial 999.
How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
- get vaccinated – everyone aged 16 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and information on Covid-19 vaccination walk-in clinics COVID-19 vaccination walk-in clinic
- wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
- open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- wear a face covering when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
- participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at