Dear parents and carers,
The government has today (Tuesday 25 February) issued new guidance regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19).
We are aware that of some of our families travel overseas during school holidays and might have visited regions in northern Italy which are now in lockdown due to high numbers of people testing positive for Coronavirus; or being advised to self-isolate.
This is the updated guidance from Public Health England that we have received:
Advice from Public Health England
If you have returned from these specific areas since 19 February, you should call NHS111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
• Specific lockdown areas in northern Italy are as follows:
These towns in Lombardy region, northern Italy
• Castiglione d’Adda
• Terranova dei Passerini
• San Fiorano
• This town in the Veneto region, northern Italy
• Vo’ Euganeo
• Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
• Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)
If you have recently returned from the areas below and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111.
You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
• Northern Italy excluding the towns above and Pisa, Florence and Rimini
• China (excluding Hubei province)
• Hong Kong
• Republic of Korea
Thank you for continuing to support our school by sharing messages of good hygiene with your families and friends. Below is some more information which I hope you will find useful.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolating is a precaution to provide people with health advice about any symptoms in case they become unwell. These people are being advised to “self-isolate” which means they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people as a precaution. It does not mean they are ill and people who have had contact with these individuals do not need to take action.
Those who have been told to ‘self-isolate’ are being asked to avoid other people and stay at home and not go to work or school. During this time, they will be supported by Public Health England, who are monitoring them and will undertake further testing if they show any symptoms of the virus, and provide any further care needed.
Should I send my child to school?
Yes. The safety, welfare and wellbeing of all in our school community is our primary concern and a constant dialogue has, and will continue, to take place with the relevant authorities to ensure that the school acts in accordance with guidance. We are working in collaboration with, and being guided by, the Local Authority and Public Health England to ensure that we are acting consistently with the right medical advice.
The Local Authority has confirmed to us that Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close. Our school management team and Governing Body have decided to keep our school open. I will continue to keep you updated with any advice that is passed to us.
At this present time, there is low risk for anyone attending our school. On advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the risk has been declared as "moderate" - a level which allows government to plan for all eventualities but that ultimately, that the risk to individuals remains "low".
Please contact the school if you are thinking about keeping your child at home.
Where do I get accurate information from?
Please also be aware that media speculation is rife about Coronavirus and not everything you read in the newspapers and online is accurate.
The release of trusted and accurate information will always be released initially by the Chief Medical Officer. Further guidance will then be issued by Public Health England, the Department for Health and Social Care or the NHS. The Local Authority will also support those messages.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice:
Like with other illnesses, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Encouraging good hygiene
As always, if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, then there are measures you can take to stop germs:
Updates on Coronavirus:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Public Health England blog: