Covid Update - Staff Members

Further to the positive staff case that we reported on the website on Monday, this is an update regarding positive staff cases.

Dear parents and carers,

Whilst updates such as this can be unsettling, we feel that having direct and clear communication with our Academy community is essential. I feel that it is important I keep everyone informed of any developments and ensure that we are hearing about positive cases directly from me. That way you are able to address any concerns directly.

Further to the positive staff case that we reported on the website on Monday, another member of staff tested positive yesterday. However, this member of staff shares a household with the original positive case and they were both last in the Academy on Friday (13th November). Neither of these staff have had close contact with any students and therefore we have been advised that no further action needs to be taken.

Additionally, two further members of staff have tested positive in the last 18 hours. The first member of staff came into the Academy early (on Monday 16th November) and left, feeling unwell, before any students arrived. They had close contact with one member of staff and subsequently, this member of staff has been asked to isolate for 14 days. The second member of staff hasn't been in the Academy since Friday 13th November and their symptoms started late on Sunday evening. None of these staff have had close contact with any students and therefore we have been advised that no further action needs to be taken.

The household case (with two members of staff) and the individual cases are unrelated and Public Health England is treating them as single, isolated cases. The names of the staff will not be released publicly due to data privacy laws.

It is important to state once again that DfE guidance is very clear and states that close contact means:

  • Direct close contacts – face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
  • Proximity contacts – extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
  • Travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person.

Our risk assessment is very comprehensive and can be found HERE. Staff are vigilant and ensure that when teaching they stay in their teaching boxes which is two metres away from students thereby protecting both students and staff.

The staff involved acted fast, they took action and got tested quickly, we appreciate their swift and decisive actions.

As a school, ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider school community has been our absolute priority. As a result, we have closely followed all Government guidance and have implemented all possible safety measures and protocols to ensure everyone’s safety and to limit the transmission of any virus.

I completely appreciate and understand that there are already some inevitable anxieties given the current circumstances we find ourselves in. However, I would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to ensure everyone’s safety and will be continuing to closely follow and implement advice from the experts to maintain this.

It is important that students, staff and the wider school community remain vigilant and continue to uphold the various safety protocols in place both within the Academy but also when out in the wider community.

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.

Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community. If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.

Symptoms
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are the recent onset of:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

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.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • 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

Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If there are any further updates we will inform you immediately, but if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact the Academy and we will be able to support you.

It is important to stress that if we all follow the Government guidance, we are protecting one another. Thank you for your continuing support and I’m sure that you will join me at this time wishing all families who are suffering from this virus, a speedy recovery.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Lisa Mason
Principal