18th March 2020

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE – IMPACT ON OUR SCHOOL

 

Dear Parents and Carers

As we are all aware, the information and advice coming from the government is being updated on a daily basis and I want to let you know where we are currently up to at Whitefield.

At this point today, school continues to be open until we are advised otherwise by the Department for Education and/or our staffing levels do not allow us to continue to run school safely.  Currently, we have no staffing concerns. Some staff have needed to self-isolate however this has not impacted on our ability to run school effectively. Please note that none of our staff have coronavirus symptoms nor have they been diagnosed with the disease.

The information regarding self-isolation from the government was emailed and app-ed to you yesterday.  I have repeated that information below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

Main messages

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • if you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
    • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
    • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home

The advice is intended for:

  • people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and so not require hospital treatment who must remain at home until they are well
  • those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus

It is vital that you follow the advice above and if your child is displaying the symptoms of a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature you do not send them to school.

 

There is also a list of high risk conditions where you are being strongly advised to self-isolate. Please check the list below and for further information go to the government website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

 

Underlying health conditions that put you at risk of coronavirus

Some of the chronic conditions said to heighten the risk among patients are:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - emphysema or bronchitis
  • Primary Immumodeficiency (PID)
  • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)

 

For children who are at home and in isolation, we are continually adding work to our website page www.whitefield-pri.lancs.uk for the children to access. Click on the parents tab and go to home learning. The activity link at the bottom of the page is brilliant and has lots of ideas.  Teachers are working to produce year group specific activities and these will be added as soon as possible,

 

SCHOOL MEASURES

 

On Monday, Boris Johnson stated that everyone needs to ‘stop non-essential contact with others’.  This is hard for us to do in school so we have put in measures to ensure the safety of all our children and staff in school.

At 6am on Tuesday morning we brought in a cleaning company who did a deep clean of school where all furniture and equipment, including pencils, rulers etc were thoroughly cleaned.  Thank you to all of our BOLA families who arranged alternative childcare for Tuesday morning so that we could be ready to open at 8.50am.

We are enforcing our handwashing regime with all children washing their hands on entry to school, after using the toilets, before dinner, after dinner, at every possible opportunity really!

We have cancelled all non-emergency meetings and events in our school diary.  We have still had no official word from Lancashire County Council about the Tower Wood visit so keep checking your communication streams for a message from school regarding this.

 

A change to leaving school at the end of the day:

To spread ourselves across school and try to socially distance as much as possible on our playground, we have made a couple of changes to the end of the day routine.

If your child is in Years 4, 5 and 6 they children will come out on to the playground as normal however they will be spaced out across the playground.  I ask that parents come on to the playground and space yourselves out when you are waiting to pick up your child. This will also alleviate the business on the path outside that gate area.

Year 3 will be coming out of school via the main school entrance door (like in the old days).

Years Reception, 1 and 2 will come out of school as normal.

 

I will update you on a daily basis so please check your app, emails and/or the school website and use your whatsapp parent groups to ensure everyone gets the school message.

Thank you all for your continued support at this difficult time and all your kind words. They really do help.

 

Sarah Foster

Headteacher