CV-19 - Update Information
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you know, this week The Ilfracombe Academy have completed a number of LFD tests and we have been advised that there are a number of confirmed Covid 19 cases in our school setting. This is in addition to a small number of PCR positive cases that parents have informed the school of over the Christmas period. As it stands, we have the following confirmed cases:
We know that you may find this concerning; we are continuing to monitor the situation and are providing the following advice. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. I would also like to reassure parents that the staff and students with positive PCR results were all confirmed over the Christmas Holiday period and they were not in school during their infectious period over the last 10 days. We are pleased that our testing/screening process has highlighted the additional cases identified within the table but we’re also aware that we have had false positives in the past. We also know that some students have since completed LFD tests at home that have returned negative results. Unfortunately, these students will still need to book a PCR test in line with the current guidance. Please be aware that it is the DFE and not The Ilfracombe Academy that sets the guidance. We are expected to follow it even though it can be frustrating for our students, our staff and parents alike.
As you are aware, the guidance we receive from the Government and DfE is continuously changing, but this letter should assist parents/carers in understanding the measures that should be taken. This can be confusing for those students that have tested positive in December or have tested positive within the last 90 days. We have followed Public Health England advice who informed the school that any positive cases in school should be sent home and they should book a PCR within two days of receiving the positive LFD test result. Some parents and carers have mentioned that they would not be able to book a PCR test if their child was previously positive within the last 90 days. In this instance PHE have advised the school that the parents should take advice from track and trace in terms of their next steps.
The PE department will not be using the changing rooms until the end of the school week when we have completed the in school testing and we can ascertain the situation. We would still like students to bring appropriate PE footwear and their PE top in their school bag for the rest of this week.
The Ilfracombe Academy remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well. We encourage household members that are aged 11 and over to continue with twice weekly LFD testing to help identify cases promptly.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. This 10 day isolation period can be ended early on day 7 where two negative LFD tests are taken 24 hours apart on days 6 and 7 but NHS Test and Trace will be able to advise you of this.
Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119.
Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)
From 14 December, anyone aged 5 years and over who lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate is now strongly advised to take an LFD test every day for 7 days. If any of these LFD tests are positive they should self-isolate in order to protect other people.
If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting or workplace. If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive.
Children aged 4 years and under do not need to take part in daily testing as contacts of COVID-19 and do not need to isolate.
This advice is in addition to the changes introduced on 16 August 2021. You are not legally required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
you are fully vaccinated
you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.
Household members who are not exempt from isolation as close contacts should not go to work, school/college/childcare/education setting or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
Instructions for household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 14 December
Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as taking daily LFD tests for 7 days, you may also consider:
limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
wearing a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded places such as school/college/public transport
limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
If you are a health or social care worker or a student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):
get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and 16-17 year olds are being offered 1 dose of the vaccination by 23 August
wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at
The Ilfracombe Academy will continue to monitor the situation and will feedback to parents and carers any updates in terms of cases once we have completed the testing tomorrow.
Steve Rogers (Headteacher)