NYCC have asked us to share this letter with you as parents and carers, following an increase in cases both locally and nationally: COVID-19 letter to parents and carers 29-10-21
Furthermore, they have produced an Education FAQ document which may be of interest and is available in full here:
Of particular relevance as we approach the beginning of a new half term, I have reproduced the following information from the above document for your information:
“What classes as a ‘close contact’?
– A person who has had face-to-face contact (within one metre) with someone who has tested
positive for COVID-19, including:
o being coughed on
o having a face-to-face conversation within one metre, or
o contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
– A person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes (either as a one off contact or added up together over one day)
– A person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Where an interaction between 2 people has taken place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen, this would not be considered sufficient contact, provided that there has been no other contact such as any of those indicated above.
Full guidance here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-ofpeople-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-theperson/
Who is exempt from self-isolation as a close contact?
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 or are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case and any of the following apply:
– they are fully vaccinated (i.e. had a second dose of COVID vaccine more than 14 days ago)
– they are below the age of 18 years 6 months
– they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
– they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Children who are aged under 5 years old who are identified as close contacts will only be advised to take a PCR test if the positive case is in their own household.
Should people who are household contacts of a case be allowed to attend school?
Provided the individual meets the exemption criteria listed above then household contacts are not required to isolate unless they develop COVID-19 symptoms. Concerns have been expressed about close contacts in particular attending school as they are likely to be more high risk than transient contacts due to more prolonged contact with the case. However, national guidance for education is clear that keeping pupils in face-to-face education is a priority to prevent other non-COVID harms.
In order to mitigate the risk household contacts should all be directed to take a PCR test as ‘close contacts’, even if exempt from isolation. They should also continue with regular lateral flow testing if eligible (twice a week is standard but it may be suitable to advise daily testing for 7 days given the increased short-term risk).
Household contacts should also have a low index of suspicion regarding isolation and PCR testing should they become symptomatic. The 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 remain a fever (temperature 37.8OC or higher), a new continuous cough, or a change to/loss of taste or smell. However, other commonly reported symptoms of the Delta variant include headache, sore throat, tiredness, and cold-like symptoms, so individuals need to be aware of these as well and stay at home and seek further testing if they are in any doubt. Household contacts (as with other close contacts) should be particularly reminded about good prevention measures e.g. hand and respiratory hygiene.”
We appreciate your continued support and vigilance in playing your part to keep everyone as safe as possible in these circumstances.
We will keep upcoming planned events under review, once we are able to ascertain the situation relevant to our school and will keep you fully informed of any changes or developments.
Should you have any questions about any aspect of this information, please do not hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judi Jackson, Headteacher