Preparing parents in the event of a bubble closure affecting their child
South Gloucestershire guidance October 15th.
With the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in schools rising, it is important to pre-warn parents and carers to plan ahead for the possibility that their child will be told to isolate.
In the last few weeks, we have seen numerous bubble classes needing to close and all children in that class being sent home to help keep everyone safe. Inevitably, this will have an impact on childcare for some parents and carers and it is for that reason, we would like you to make your school community aware that this is a possibility and they should make plans in case they are affected.
Due to the nature of any bubble closures, and in line with national Public Health guidance, these decisions are made with immediate effect giving little or no notice to parents and carers. By keeping in mind that this could happen, and children may be told to stay at home for up to 14 days, schools can help parents and carers plan in advance and reduce the stress of having to make last minute arrangements.
We have also produced a guide on when to keep your child home from school
The following ARE symptoms of coronavirus
Individuals will need a test if they have any of the following:
A high temperature: any new high temperature where the person feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature);
A new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
A loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal.
Individuals do not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
Message from NHS Test and Trace
We have seen unprecedented demand for testing recently. NHS Test and Trace figures show that between mid-June and the end of August the number of people getting tested for the first time rose by 63% and we have seen demand for testing increase significantly again this week.
People with symptoms absolutely must come forward to get a test as this will help us stop the spread of the virus. As we manage this period of high demand, it is especially important that if individuals don’t have symptoms, and have not specifically been advised to take a test, they should not be coming forward for a test because they could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it. A recent survey at testing sites suggests around a quarter of people who have accessed tests did not have symptoms.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have vastly expanded the nation’s testing capacity, more than doubling the capacity of the NHS and PHE laboratories as well as setting up an entirely new nationwide network of testing sites and new Lighthouse laboratories to process samples.
We continue to expand capacity even further and to help ensure that testing is being used by those who need it most.
Schools have been issued with guidance on testing and the advice for parents and teachers. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms. If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.
Please do whatever you can to reinforce the below messaging:
- The main symptoms of coronavirus are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
- If you have Covid-19 symptoms, get a test. It's really important that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms can get a test. This will help us stop the spread of the virus. If you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms and you are trying to book a test, do not come forwards for a test – you could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it. This is increasingly important as we head into Autumn and Winter and more people will get colds and the flu. Only if you have one of the 3 symptoms should you book a test.
- Do not stockpile tests – if you develop symptoms in the future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.
- If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested and the rest of the household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. The vast majority of people who are tested in person get their results the very next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on gov.uk.
- If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you won’t go on to develop the virus. That means you could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people.
- If you have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online here or by ringing 119. Please keep trying as appointments are released throughout the day.
- The local NHS 111 service is currently experiencing high numbers of calls from people seeking Covid-19 tests. The 111 service is not able to arrange tests and callers have to be redirected to the correct 119 number, or online service, which is frustrating for individuals and affects 111 capacity. We need to make sure that 111 is protected for people who are ringing about other medical and health issues.
- You can find NHS information and advice on how to treat coronavirus symptoms at home here. If you are concerned about your symptoms and need medical advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call 111.
- Please remember to social distance when you drop off/collect your child.
- Parents to leave once their child is in the gate.
- We encourage parents to wait on the other side of the road if you have time between drop offs or to return to your car if you have driven