Dear Parents / Carers,
As you know, the government has announced an easing of covid-19 measures from 19th July 2021 but expects the wearing of face coverings to be continued in indoors spaces.
With current cases of covid-19 rising rapidly in the borough and doubling weekly, we have been asked by the local authority to keep all current measures in place until the end of this term.
Please be aware that, in line with current guidance, the need for isolation when advised still remains. This will not change until 16th August 2021.
When the new academic year begins in September, we may need to temporarily reintroduce some measures to control cases and outbreaks in local areas. This will be on the instruction of the borough’s Director of Public Health and we will of course communicate any outbreak management plans to you as soon as possible.
We hope we can count on your continued support whilst we remain in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Updated information from Public Heath 21/5/2021
The following information has today been received from Dudley public Health. We have been asked to share with all families:
Early years and Primary age children are not required to wear a face covering, but staff should wear a face covering when leaving their bubble and moving around where distance cannot be maintained from other adults.
Parents are also expected to wear face coverings when on the setting site and when distancing is not possible at pick up and drop off times.
Symptom Free (Lateral Flow testing (LFT) for children & staff
There is no national recommendation for early years or primary-age pupils to have a LFT. Staff in all education settings are still to do twice weekly LFT. This continues to be the national and local expectation as an important tool in managing infection rates and reducing opportunity for further spread. It regularly identifies people with no symptoms, therefore reduces transmission and the number of children and young people that may need to isolate.
Symptom free twice weekly testing for parents and carers We would like to encourage parents and carers to carry out twice weekly symptom-free (LFT) tests so we can identify positive cases at the earliest opportunity and help to stop transmission Residents can access symptom free tests in a number of ways:
• Collect kits from local pharmacies
• Collect kits from local sites
• Get a test done at a local testing site
• Via the post You will need to register the result of your test on the government website.
For more information go to www.dudley.gov.uk/symptom-free-testing.
Vaccine for parents and carers
From Thursday 20th May all adults aged 34 and over in Dudley will be eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccination, we encourage all eligible people to have the vaccine when offered. You will be notified directly from the NHS or from your GP as to when you can book your slot. For more information go to www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus
The setting will be continuing with their system of controls to manage infection rates such as staggered start and finish times, one-way systems and expectation that parents remain socially distanced and wear face coverings on site. Settings will also be continuing to arrange children in groups / bubbles. We may also at times ask for the introduction of extended measures for children or staff in response to localised outbreaks, including variants of concern.
Continue to do the things that you have been doing to keep our education settings safe.
• Not sending your child to their nursery if they are showing coronavirus symptoms or someone within the household is showing symptoms
• Arranging a PCR test (not Lateral Flow) if you or your child develops symptoms*(see below) – no matter
how mild – and informing the nursery of the result
• Keeping your child at home where they have been identified as having contact with a confirmed case either in our setting or elsewhere
• Ensuring that the whole household isolate where a household member is awaiting aresult, and continued isolation if test result is positive
• Reinforcing with your children the importance of washing/sanitising hands, makespace and minimise contact
• Supporting your setting by understanding and reinforcing the measures and
procedures expected; hands, face, space, test
• Continuing to adhere to the national guidelines
Be aware of symptoms and arrange a test
The 3 classic covid-19 symptoms are;
• a new, continuous cough
• a high temperature
• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Anyone with the above symptoms must isolate (and their household) and book a PCR test (Not a Lateral Flow test).
Other symptoms which may be linked to covid-19;
• aches and pains
• tummy ache in children
• sore throat
• feeling very tired for no good reason
• runny nose
Anyone feeling generally unwell or with these symptoms is asked to take a PCR (not a Lateral Flow test) test to check if it is covid-19 or seasonal illness. If you would like any more help and advice around COVID-19, please go to: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
THEREFORE at Netherton Park Nursery School
The difference between a PCR test and a Lateral Flow Test
Please read this information as there still seems to be a lot of confusion between the two types of testing with children showing symptoms or wider symptoms being given a home Lateral Flow Test rather than the correct PCR test at a test centre.
A PCR test is to be used for unwell adults/children (this is for Covid symptoms or any of the wider symptoms).
LATERAL FLOW TESTS
Lateral Flow tests MUST not be used for adults/children who are unwell.
These are the rapid tests that are used in the community. They are convenient because they can give a result within 30 minutes and do not need a laboratory.
They detect proteins from the virus, not RNA. They use a swab of the nose and/or throat and are carried out on a small flat plastic device like a pregnancy test.
These tests are very different from PCR. They are NOT SUITABLE for diagnosing individual patients who suspect they may be infected because they have symptoms.
People with symptoms need a PCR test. Lateral flow tests are intended for picking up additional infected cases who would otherwise be missed because they don’t have any symptoms.
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A LATERAL FLOW TEST?
You should only have this test if you don’t have any symptoms.
PCR tests detect the virus’ RNA. These tests are normally carried out in a laboratory using a swab of the nose and/or throat.
PCR tests can detect very tiny amounts of RNA, meaning they are extremely sensitive. They are the best test for current infection.
Patients with COVID-19 usually start to become positive by PCR testing a day or two before symptoms start and will continue to test positive by PCR afterwards for some time. Repeat PCR once a diagnosis has been made is not necessary.
The period the patient must isolate for is defined by time from the start of symptoms or, if there are no symptoms, from the first positive test. Current UK policy is that patients must self-isolate for ten days after this time.
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A PCR TEST?
If you currently have symptoms that may indicate COVID-19, this is the test you should have to diagnose the infection.
If a lateral flow test is positive. The purpose of the PCR test is to confirm the diagnosis, since it is a more accurate test than the lateral flow test.
Coronavirus Testing information update
We are still having some parents query staff when they are advised to get their child tested for Coronavirus when they are not displaying the main three symptoms.
We have to follow advice from Public Health - this is the information on the expansion of wider testing and can be found n the letter attached below.
To book you MUST NOT call 119 and MUST book online - the complete guidelines (step by step) are included in the letter.
Alongside this parents are reminded that they MUST let the school know if their child has had a test and send a copy of the result (negative or positive) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a school we have a duty to report ALL positive cases in any children (even if they aren't attending at the point they test positive) to both Public Health AND Ofsted.
We hope that all parents will continue to support us in keeping our Nursery School Community safe.
Staff are taking part in twice weekly Lateral Flow tests at home and for any families who have Primary or Secondary aged children at home too you are also able to access home testing. Further information about all testing can be found via this link: https://www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirusparents
Please follow these links for information about self-isolation guidance