Following regular meeting with the Worcestershire Health Team, we are updating you on some key messages.
There is an increased incidence of COVID-19, including the new more infectious strain, in our community. We are therefore asking students and staff who have any illness, however mild, to stay at home until fully recovered. There are a wide range of early symptoms, particularly for young people, and it is important not to take any unnecessary risks. Over the last 2 weeks on a couple of occasions, students have been sent into school with sore throats or sniffles. Please keep them at home if there are any minor ailments or signs of infection at all. The same principles apply to staff.
COVID-19 Testing in School
Our Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing centre is now set up in the school gym, with 15 trained staff in 3 teams of 5, and 3 expert volunteers to support them. Our senior team ran the first trial run on Tuesday 12 January with 21 negative tests. The new teams had their induction on Friday 15 January. They carried out 45 tests, 42 of which were negative, 2 were void and had to be repeated, and 1 test was positive. Anyone who tests positive is told to self-isolate and book a PCR test at a testing centre to confirm the result.
This screening is an important component of keeping our school safe. The LFD testing programme is consent driven and we can only test students if parents give consent. Although we have 65% of the school population with consent to test, only 55% of the children who have been attending school have given consent. We obviously have staff attending school to support students, and any additional contact outside the household is an additional risk for both staff and students. We would strongly encourage those who have not yet consented to do so. Those who have done the test have found it relatively straightforward. The consent form can be found here.
We will be offering tests on a 4/5 day rolling basis as with some front-line NHS staff, and our tests will be offered on the following dates:
- Wednesday 20 January
- Monday 25 January
- Friday 29 January
- Wednesday 3 February
- Monday 8 February
- Friday 12 February
Students who have consented and are expected in school on these dates will be automatically registered for the test. Students who are not in school on these dates but wish to be tested, can inform us by parents emailing email@example.com. We will move the testing centre to the Youth Centre when recommissioning work is complete, and will keep you updated on developments.
Thank you for your continued support and please stay safe.