Coronarvirus (COVID-19) update
Dear Parents /Carers,
Coronarvirus (COVID-19) update
All schools are now being updated on a regular basis as official guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education is updated in light of the rapidly changing national situation.
In relation to schools, little has changed from previous guidance except there is clarification on the issue of face masks and the fact that they are not needed in relation to prevention. An information helpline has also been launched, details of which can be found at the end of this letter.
The most important aspect continues to be maintaining good hygiene standards.
I want to reassure you that we continue to prioritise this aspect at EWPS including securing additional cleaning materials and additional cleaning staff. Other precautions we are taking in school to limit the risk of an outbreak as much as possible include:
- Appropriate hand washing facilities in school for pupils and staff. Children will also be asked to wash their hands at the start of the day, and before eating in the dinner hall.
- Our facilities staff will be checking the soap dispensers throughout the day to ensure that they do not run out.
- Our school is already cleaned daily and we are progressing with our deep clean. This includes toilet areas, desks and food preparation areas. However, we will be introducing new waste bins for the safe disposal of tissues and cleaning wipes.
- The school has a critical incident plan in place to deal with any emergency situation and this has been reviewed in the last 48 hours. This plan will only be triggered on advice from Public Health England.
We will also be speaking to children this week about enhanced hygiene as outlined in the Government's guidance. This will obviously be done in an age appropriate way in age specific assemblies. In particular, pupils will be reminded to:
- Wash their hands with soap and water (or sanitiser) regularly especially before eating.
- Use a tissue when they cough or sneeze and to then throw them into the designated bins.
- Avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth if they have not washed their hands.
- Avoid sharing food and drink items with friends.
An outbreak such as this obviously has the potential to cause alarm across our school and local community but we will continue to take a measured and sensible approach and follow Government guidance.
If you would like further details about the Government advice, you can find it by following the links below.
- NHS Coronavirus page -https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Public Health Update https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan- novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/
- British Government Public Information page - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
- Guidance for educational settings:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational- settings-about-covid-19
- Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Yesterday, the DFE also launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- •Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Thank you for your support in helping us to reassure your children and to not cause undue alarm at this time. I will, of course, be back in touch should the need arise.