Update from Principal Andrew Davis
Understandably, there is a lot of interest and some concern as the national news reports on the spread of coronavirus covid-19 and attempts to contain it. You will be aware that the news and government advice changes frequently. Exmouth Community College, like any good school, is following events closely on a daily basis. We will always abide by Government, Public Health England and Devon County Council advice or instruction, as our foremost duty is the welfare of students and staff. We will, and have already, consulted NHS helplines over specific questions. We are also aware that the situation could change rapidly at very short notice.
Please may I draw your attention to the “Latest Information” section on our website front page where there is a Coronavirus update page, which includes links to government guidance? This should be your first reference point for information. This will be updated regularly, including the website links, and further information will be communicated through the Newsletter. We will use e-mail, should there be more serious information, to contact parents, or to notify rapid changes to events or guidance.
We believe that during half-term no one at Exmouth Community College visited a “Category One” region (please see guidance). In line with public health guidance anyone (other than from Category One) who has no symptoms can continue to maintain their normal activities and can attend school.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
These symptoms do not necessarily mean that someone has the virus, as they are very similar to other illnesses which are much more common, such as cold and ‘flu. Clearly, if you are concerned then the best advice is to contact the NHS on 111. If someone has these symptoms AND has been in a Category Two region then they should self-isolate at home and contact 111 immediately.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include:
- regular hand washing
- covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough or sneezing
- avoid visiting wet or live markets and contact with animals, excretions and droppings
- thoroughly cooking meat and eggs
There is an important educational side to this, too. Students are quite understandably worried by the media bombardment, and are sometimes less skilled at sifting out misinformation and exaggeration than adults. Under the UN Children’s Charter, Article 17 is a right to (accurate) information, and we are providing this through tutorials and as opportunities arise in lessons. It would appear that 80-85% of actual cases are mild, children seem to be much less affected than adults, and influenza statistically remains more dangerous, but this is not always the message that children pick up. If you have any concerns regarding coronavirus, our initial point of contact is Mr Allen.
Andrew Davis - Principal