7 June 2021
Dear Werneth School students, parents and staff,
All Stockport schools have today received a communication from Stockport’s Director of Public Health Jennifer Connolly. The following changes will take effect from tomorrow in school:
As you may be aware, we are seeing a rapid increase in cases of COVID-19 in Stockport, including among children and young people, and so we have been updating our guidance to education settings in order to stop the rise in cases, and protect your pupils and staff.
There are 3 key rules, which are explained in more detail below:
- If you need to isolate because you are a contact of a positive case, you must take a PCR test within the isolation period. Even if the test is negative, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days.
- School staff, secondary age children and their families should also continue with twice-weekly lateral flow device tests
- Face coverings are re-introduced and compulsory from Tuesday 8th June until the end of the summer term, in classrooms and out of classrooms. We understand that some students are exempt. Students should bring a face covering to school with them again.
MORE DETAIL ON EACH OF THE 3 BULLET POINTS ABOVE ….
PCR Testing for Contacts: As a precautionary measure, following discussions with Public Health England, I am asking all staff and pupils who are identified as a contact of a positive covid-19 case to access PCR testing. By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent to specialist labs to help us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.
The PCR test should ideally be taken early in the 10-day isolation period. Even if your PCR test result is negative, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days in line with government guidance.
Our priority is to keep all students and staff safe and well, and this measure is to help identify any additional cases, including when people have no symptoms. It will help us to identify and isolate cases, prevent onward transmission and minimise our case rates in the borough.
People can go online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to book a free test by clicking the box that says your local council has asked you to do this - see attached step-by-step guide which you can share with parents to guide them through the process. Those without internet access can also order or book a test over the phone by calling 119. If someone has tested positive using a PCR swab test in the last 90 days, they do not need to take another test. For some children and young people, testing will not be appropriate. This includes early years settings or pupils who have additional needs that would make the completion of the test distressing and/or challenging.
Regular testing: School staff, secondary age children and their families should also continue with twice-weekly lateral flow device tests. These are for people with no COVID symptoms. A positive lateral flow test result should be registered with NHS Test and Trace and a PCR test should be taken to confirm the result. While waiting for the confirmatory PCR result, all contacts should isolate immediately for 10 days.
Face Coverings in Secondary Schools and Colleges: Secondary school, and college, students should wear face coverings in school until the end of the summer term, as part of our robust system of control of covid-19 transmission. This move has been approved for all areas in Greater Manchester this week. This is due to the increasing number of cases in Greater Manchester. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through our breath, our nose and mouth, when we talk, sing, cough, sneeze, or do anything else that involves breathing. A face covering greatly reduces the distance our breath can travel, and that helps to protect everyone.
This measure is particularly recommended for areas where social distancing may be difficult, such as all communal areas. Consideration of promoting the wearing of face coverings is only one part of your larger system of controls. Other measures, including social distancing, staff vaccination (for those eligible), handwashing, regular and symptomatic testing, contact tracing, self-isolation, good ventilation and enhanced cleaning remain essential. Support on any of these matters continues to be available from your public health and education teams.
Posted by cmurphy
Category: Parental Update