Covid 19 Update
Dear Parents and Carers
In the light of the Prime Minister’s statement on Saturday 27th November following the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, we wanted to update you on the current situation in our College which is in accordance with the advice issued by the Department of Education (DfE) on Sunday 28th November.
It is really important that all of us play our part in delaying the spread of Covid and, in particular this variant, until more is known about how dangerous it might be and to allow more people to be vaccinated and get their booster. Currently despite the high rates of Covid within our communities https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map/cases, rates of infection within the College remain relatively low which is great since it means our young people are not getting ill and having to miss their learning. Thank you for all your help with this.
The changes from DfE include,
Many of our students have been brilliant at wearing their face coverings in communal areas throughout the Autumn Term however the DfE guidance is now clear that face coverings should be worn in communal areas by staff, visitors and students, unless they are exempt. Parents and carers should make sure that their child brings a suitable face covering to school (not a snood or a scarf). Further information on suitable face coverings and how to store them can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own .
If you are exempt from wearing face coverings can you please ensure you are carrying an exemption card to show or wearing a lanyard with the card on it.
Face coverings must continue to be worn on school transport.
We continue to encourage staff and students to test at least twice a week using LFD tests which are distributed to students. Once you have carried out an LFD test please report the result (positive or negative) to the Government website https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
Symptoms and PCR testing
If your child is showing any symptoms please do not send them into College but isolate and get a PCR test instead. Please note the symptoms of Covid can vary greatly between individuals but can include coughing, high temperature, loss of sense of taste and smell. They can also include headache, muscle pains, sore throat, fever and fatigue. More information can be found here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51048366
Students under 18 years of age do not need to isolate if they have been a close contact or live in a household with someone who has tested positive for Covid, unless they have been directed to by NHS Test and Trace. However, the DfE has advised that we recommend to families that they should test every day for 10 days using an LFD test.
Anyone considered to be a close contact of someone testing positive for Covid with the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of age or vaccination status. The NHS will contact you directly if they consider you a close contact of this kind.
Covid and Flu Vaccinations
Covid vaccinations remain available for students aged 12 and over and can be booked using this link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine-for-children-aged-12-to-15/
We have also just been informed by Virgin Care that they have scheduled a Flu Clinic in Exeter on Saturday 4th December for all students in Years 7-11 who missed their vaccination in College recently. Please call them on 0300 247 0082 to book an appointment. The lines are currently open 9 am until 12 pm and then 2pm until 4.30 pm. Their lines do get extremely busy, so please keep trying throughout the upcoming days and please accept Virgin Care's apologies if you don’t manage to get through first time. Alternatively, you could email Virgin Care at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have already completed an electronic consent form for the Flu vaccine with Virgin Care, please have the reference number that would have been emailed to you ready to provide to their advisor – this will avoid any duplication. The clinic booking line will be closed at 4.30pm on Thursday 2nd December, so please do not call after this time. There will be further clinics held in January, details will be sent out as soon as possible.
We will be returning to remote assemblies for the final three weeks of term and are currently considering arrangements for our Carol Services and the Rotary Club Concert that we have planned for December. We will update this information in due course.
Covid testing in January 2022
On Friday 26th November the Government also asked all schools to re-introduce on site assisted testing when students return in January and so we are currently looking into arrangements for this.
As ever, many thanks for your continued support.