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Coronavirus

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

On Wednesday 18th March Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23 March.

 

Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.

Further details on this announcement can be found here:

 

New guidance for households with symptoms

On the 16th March 2020, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household 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.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

 

Government Coronavirus action plan

 

On 3rd March the Government Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

 

The action plan can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

 

The document includes:

  • what we know about the virus and the disease it causes
  • how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak
  • the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak
  • what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes
  • the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

 

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

 

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards

  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Hand washing advice

 

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

 

Watch this short NHS film for guidance: https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

 

Educational Resources

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

 

Resources are currently available for KS1 and KS2 and can be used in various settings including schools: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

On 10th March, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email:
DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

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