Covid Update - Year 9

We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a new confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

Dear parents and carers,

We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

We know that you may find this concerning but are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

The small number of children who have been in direct prolonged close contact with the confirmed case will have received an individual letter and will be staying at home for 14 days.

  • The case is in year 9 - this is a single case in this year group.
  • 23 students have been asked to self-isolate. We have contacted all of them. If you have not heard from us then you are not affected. The students who have been asked to self-isolate will return on Tuesday 6th October. 
  • No staff have been asked to isolate.
  • The child was last in on Monday 21st September.

The parents of the child acted fast and got their child 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.

The guidance that we have received is to ask any member of staff or students that have had close contact with the infected person, to isolate for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the child. The DfE guidance 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

This is a single case within a year group bubble and we are confident it is an isolated case. The school remains open and your child should continue to attend if they remain well.

The students and families of those who are now self-isolating have already been informed and will be accessing remote learning from home to disruption any limit to their education.

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/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.

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. 

Thank you once again for your ongoing support and understanding - it is greatly appreciated.

Please stay safe and join me in wishing anyone suffering from Covid a speedy recovery. 

Yours sincerely,

Dr Lisa Mason
Principal
Ormiston Forge Academy