Latest update from Ms Poulter – Coronavirus
Given the address made by the Prime Minister late yesterday afternoon, I have taken steps to address some of the emerging issues. My immediate concern is how to manage the site safely in response to staff illness and absence due to self-isolation. What follows is our direction and advice as it currently stands though it is quite conceivable that further updates will follow tomorrow.
At this stage, I would like to confirm that we have no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, and lessons have continued as normal today. We have however, decided to postpone the year 8 guidance meetings as from today (year 8 parents will be contacted separately regarding the rearrangement of these meetings), all clubs and extra-curricular activities have been cancelled, and the year 11 Preparation for Exams evening scheduled for 2nd April has been postponed.
As a result of the current situation I have also taken the decision to cancel any external visitors to the College which unfortunately means all peripatetic music lessons will cease with immediate effect.
The Government has suggested schools remain open for Key Workers children. Whilst I am awaiting a definition of who these are, I would be grateful if you could email firstname.lastname@example.org if you work for the Police, Fire Service or NHS; please detail if you are frontline staff (e.g. doctors, nurses) or administrative support and/or management.
Current Health Advice:
- Staff and students already in self- isolation should now increase their time from 7 days to 14 days;
• Where one family member is showing signs of the mild symptoms, the whole family should self-isolate. (a high temperature, and/or a new continuous cough)
• Staff and students who have a significant underlying health condition and this condition has been identified by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) as being a high risk, should not attend school with immediate effect.
Chief Medical Officer advice:
We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, as detailed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
This group includes those who are:
• aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Additionally, there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice on the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
- People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- Attendance in school: we have now been advised that parents and schools should not concern themselves over their child’s attendance percentage at this time. In this unprecedented time this is not a priority.
- As per government advice, where one family member is showing signs of the mild symptoms, the whole family should self-isolate;
- If students are at home self-isolating and are well enough, please could we ask that they access Doddle where work will be set. Your child will also need to access their school email as we will be launching the on-line platform, Google Classrooms, later on this week with staff and students in the event of further prolonged absence and potential partial or full school closure. More details will follow later in the week.
Thank you for your support and understanding at this challenging time. I will do my best to keep you informed. In the meantime, I attached a copy of a notice that was shared with your child today.
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Date of news update: 17.03.20