The following advise has been shared with Early Years (Nursery Providers not Primary) but is appropriate to all settings. I include this for your information and ask that parents act on the guidance given to Early Years settings and consider wearing a face mask when dropping off and picking up from school.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Despite overall reports that COVID infections are falling, we are still seeing a high number of cases in the City, over 2000 each week, and we expect rates to remain high over the next few weeks.
Cases in children are at their highest since the start of the pandemic. Many early years settings (nurseries, pre-schools and childminders) are working extremely hard to keep settings open while ensuring children and staff are safe.
I am writing to ask for your help and support to reduce Covid-19 spread and keep settings open. I have written to Nursery Headteachers and Managers to provide them with advice and hope that, by working together, we can keep children in provision over the next few challenging months.
I have advised all early years providers to:
Increase ventilation inside and to be outside as much as possible.
Ensure a continued focus on thorough and frequent cleaning, along with increased handwashing and sanitising.
Ask parents to wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up or if they visit inside, unless exempt.
Ask staff to wear face coverings where possible and appropriate.
Encourage staff to use the home testing/ lateral flow kits twice a week and report results. These tests are to use regularly when you do not have any symptoms.
Identify any contacts of positive cases and provide advice that is based on the setting’s rates of infection.
Remind everyone that those with symptoms need to stay at home and take a PCR test. Children should not return to the setting before the result comes back and staff may ask to see the result.
Remind everyone who is positive for COVID that they need to isolate at home.
Ask household contacts to stay at home until they have had a negative PCR result.
I am asking that parents and carers also:
Use the home testing/ lateral flow kits twice a week and report the results. Parents can use them with younger children if they wish to.
Wear a face covering if you need to gather with others when you drop-off or collect your child. Some settings require this.
Please keep your child at home if they have COVID symptoms (a new cough, a temperature or loss of taste/smell) and arrange a PCR test. If your setting currently has an outbreak then other symptoms such as sore throat or cold symptoms may also indicate COVID infection.
Please follow the advice provided by your childcare provider if your child is identified as a contact. This might include a bookable PCR test, daily LFTs if you are able, or isolation.
Please keep your child/ children at home if someone in your household has COVID until they have had a PCR test and received a result.
Thank you for supporting your childcare setting to keep open and keep everyone safe.
Dr Robyn Dewis Director of Public Health