Happy New Year. I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas break. It has been lovely seeing the children return and new children starting their first days with us.
As I am sure you are all aware the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, means that we are beginning the new term with yet another sense of anticipation and a little trepidation. We have received an update from Public Health Bristol which we would like to share with you.
We are determined to provide Nursery Education consistently for your children and are pleased that we have managed to do this during the previous two terms. We will continue to follow our detailed risk assessment to support infection prevention and control. However, it is impossible to predict the impact the current situation will have on staff absence. This may result in sort notice closures. Please be assured that we will never make this decision lightly, remaining open for as many children as possible is our priority.
“Bristol has seen exponential growth of cases over the last 4 weeks, and we have a rate of approx. 1480 per 100,000. Whilst the majority of cases so far appear to have a milder illness, we are seeing hospitalisations particularly in the unvaccinated / partially vaccinated population. Omicron is now the dominant strain in Bristol and the UK and whilst the evidence on the severity of illness remains less than certain we do know that it is more infectious. Core infection prevention and control measures remain key – hands, face, space and ventilation, regular testing and vaccination.” (Alison Hurley, Director of Education)
National Guidance updates – Current as of 6th January 2022
To support us in reducing the spread of the variant in our school community, please follow the latest government guidance:
UKHSA has announced updated guidance on PCR testing for those without Covid symptoms which will come into effect from the 11th of January. Under the new guidance, anyone in
England who receives a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result should report their result on gov.uk and must self-isolate immediately, but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.
After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced.
Anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative lateral flow test results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven.
We will continue to follow the guidance. Staff and visitors will be required to wear a face mask when in communal areas of the school. Parents/carers will need to wear a face-covering when coming into the school building, unless exempt. We thank you for your understanding.
How long you need to self-isolate
If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.
If you get symptoms while you’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started.
When to stop self-isolating
You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if you do a rapid lateral flow test on days 6 and 7 of your self-isolation period and:
- both tests are negative
- you did both tests at least 24 hours apart
- you do not have a high temperature
If you do a rapid lateral flow test on day 6 and test positive, wait 24 hours before you do the next test.
If you stop self-isolating on or after day 7, it’s important that you take steps to reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 to others. This means you should:
- work from home if you can
- wear a face covering in shops, on public transport and when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors, in crowded places or where there is not much fresh air
- limit contact with people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID
- follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
You can stop self-isolating after the 10 days if either:
- you do not have any symptoms
- you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
When to keep self-isolating after 10 days
If you have a high temperature after the 10 days, or are feeling unwell, keep self-isolating and seek medical advice.
Everyone from the age of 12 up is eligible for vaccinations, including a booster jab for adults. Vaccinations are seriously reducing significant impact and hospitalizations. We would strongly urge that everyone that can take up the opportunity of the free vaccination.
There is a high chance that the coming days and weeks will present us with some challenges and possible disruption. We will continue to do all we can to reduce the impact and let you know as soon as possible of any changes. Your patience and support through this tricky time are hugely appreciated.
Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash