Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing in an attempt to clearly outline the process in relation to a confirmed COVID case in a school.
We appreciate that the ever changing guidance relating to COVID is making it difficult to understand why certain decisions are made or not made.
This is the process when a school contacts Public Health England:
- When a school is made aware of a positive test result it immediately calls Public Health England – Walsall.
- During the telephone conversation the school are asked a series of questions which are aimed at establishing who the individual has had ‘Close contact’ with.
- The conversation includes how ‘bubbles’ are set up and the movement of everyone around the school.
- Following talking to the school, the individual is then contacted and again the same series of questions are asked so that a clear picture of events is made.
- Depending on the answers to the questions, Public Health England then explain the actions that they wish the school to carry out.
- A whole ‘bubble’ would be closed if it is not possible to pinpoint a small number of ‘close contacts’ e.g a pupil has tested positive who it is not possible to track which other children they have had contact with. Or a teacher tests positive and the day before they spent the whole day in the classroom working with any number of children.
- Individuals will be asked to self-isolate if it can clearly be established that the individual only came in to ‘close contact’ with a small number of children. This was the case at Pelsall Village. Because the case at Pelsall Village was on a Monday morning it also meant that the individual was not in ‘close contact’ with anyone at school in the 48 hours before Monday morning (this being the most contagious period). The individual was only in the classroom for a short period of time on Monday morning resulting in very limited ‘close contact’ with children in the ‘bubble’.
The other aspect that we would like to make clear relates to all other individuals in the school. The process as explained above works on ‘Close contact with an individual who has tested positive’. Therefore siblings of any children asked to self-isolate are seen as safe to continue to come to school as they have not been in ‘close contact with an individual who has tested positive’. The same applies to every other person in school.
Should one of the children or other staff members asked to self-isolate show symptoms then they should be tested. If this is a positive test then the process begins again.
It is therefore clear that all other children should be attending school. Non attendance because there has been a positive COVID test at your child’s school will be marked as unauthorised. As with all absences school’s should ask for proof of a medical problem if this is the reason provided for an absence.
We are continuing to carry out strict maintenance of hygiene in every ‘bubble’ at school and of shared spaces.
Thank you for your support.
Pelsall Village School.