Face Coverings Update
Parents/Carer update – the safe use of face coverings
As we move towards 8th March when Government guidance recommends the use of face coverings around the site and in classrooms where social distancing cannot be maintained, we wanted to remind you about the safe use of face coverings. The Government will review this advice at Easter.
Why are the Government recommending face coverings?
There are a range of opinions about the impact of face coverings, however, most of the evidence seems to point to the fact that face coverings can reduce the risks of Covid being transmitted between people. This is because when we breathe, cough, sneeze, speak or shout we emit water droplets which might be carrying Covid which could then infect another person nearby.
As with testing, face coverings are only one part of our defence against Covid spreading within our community and so all of the other measures we have in place, such as regular hand washing/sanitising, maintaining our distance and keeping young people away from College if they have symptoms of Covid all remain in place.
Critical Worker and Vulnerable children have also been wearing face coverings in lessons and around school since their return to site in January without any problems. Thankfully the site has remained Covid free throughout this time.
How to wear and remove a face covering?
While face coverings can help reduce the risk of infections it is important that they are taken on and off carefully, worn properly and stored in an appropriate way. More details can be found here but key details include:
When wearing a face covering you should:
- use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
- avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
- avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
- change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
- avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession
When removing a face covering:
- use hand sanitiser before removing
- only handle the straps, ties or clips
- do not give it to someone else to use
- if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed
For more information and a brief demonstration of how to take off a face covering please watch this film
Types of face coverings
In College we would like you to only wear face coverings or single use medical face masks.
Please do not wear snoods since our experience shows they are liable to slip down your face constantly and tend to be made of thinner material.
If you choose to wear a medical face mask please note that these items are only designed to work for up to 4 hours and will then need to be replaced. They are also only designed to be used once. They also need to be replaced if they get damp while cloth face coverings can be reused, however just like underwear, they should be washed regularly!
In the Autumn term the overwhelming majority of students and staff were brilliant at wearing their face coverings over their mouth and nose when moving around the College. Equally brilliant were students who were exempt and had obtained cards to show they were exempt. We are very much hoping that we will once again see the vast majority of students wearing face coverings around the site and in their lessons to do their best to reduce the risk of any possible in College transmission. By doing this, students will keep themselves, their families, our staff and the community as safe as possible. It will also mean we don’t have to interrupt the learning of students to enforce self-isolation for them or staff.
If your child is exempt please ensure you purchase an exemption card which can be bought cheaply from a range of sources across the internet.
Forgotten your face covering?
It is not a problem if a student forgets their face covering – we just ask that they immediately report to their key stage office and we will replace it with a medical one.
Disposing of your face covering
Once you have finished with your face covering please think about other human beings who work within and beyond the College who have to pick up litter and so please make sure you place your covering in a waste bin rather than dropping it on the ground or putting it into a recycling bin.
Many thanks for your support.