• COVID-19 Updates

Update Covid-19: Advice to all students, parents &  carers – 27/11/2020   

Dear students, parents and carers   

Further to my last communication to you on 20th November 2020, I would like to update you on the current COVID-19 situation in the College. 

REPORTED COVID-19 CASES: LATEST DATA  

The table below gives the most up-to-date picture of COVID-19 infections at South Devon College in all areas.  

Weekly cases: 8 (Total cases reported during the last 7 days – this gives an indication of the number of current cases)   
Total cases: 34 (A running total of positive/presumed positive cases reported to the College by students and staff since the first case was reported on Wednesday 7th October 2020)   

Transmission

I would like to remind and reassure all students, parents and carers that each time we are alerted to a positive or presumed positive case, we undertake a forensic risk assessment process. We do this with Torbay Council who are responsible for local outbreak management and the professionals at Public Health England who provide the specialist expertise. We do this to quickly identify close contacts of the case and instruct those individuals to self-isolate following the national guidelines. From these risk assessment processes to date, we genuinely believe there is no evidence of any transmission within the College of this virus. Students and staff who have tested positive are usually able to identify where they caught the virus. In our cases to date the virus has been contracted through household or work contacts outside of the College.

Torbay to be in Tier 2 COVID restrictions from 2 December

The government announced yesterday that Devon, including Torbay, will be in Tier 2 of the local COVID restrictions until at least 16 December. This is to help tackle the spread of coronavirus in Torbay. As a College we will remain open and there will not be any change to our COVID secure measures currently in place. Further details outlining Tier 2 restrictions are available here

Please remember to complete the ‘out of hours Notification of a POSTIVE COVID-19 test result’ form to alert us if you, a member of your household or other close contact identified through Track & Trace, receive a positive test result in the evening or during the weekend.  This online form is available via our main website. 

Please note, if you are required to self-isolate because you have been told to do so by the College, the NHS App, NHS Test & Trace or a member of your household/close contact is symptomatic and then you subsequently develop COVID symptoms, please do notify your tutor immediately. 

As promised, we will continue to issue a weekly update of the number of confirmed cases within the College. We will provide this update at 2pm on Friday afternoon each week including during College holidays.   

Everything possible is being done to safely keep the College open for students and staff. The College remains open and, providing you and your family members remain well, coming to College and work can continue as normal.  This continues to be a real team effort and we ask every single student and staff member to keep doing everything possible to keep each other safe and well.  

Thank you very much for your ongoing support.  

Yours sincerely,  

Laurence Frewin  

Principal and CEO  
South Devon College 

Please complete the form below to alert South Devon College of a POSITIVE test result for a current student or member of the student’s household if it is received in the evening or at the weekend. Please continue to contact the tutor if a result is received when the College is open. Thank you.

Previous updates

Please find all our previous COVID-19 updates in this archive.

NHS Test and Trace

Dear parents and guardians,

This is an important letter to share some information on how we can work together to make sure we can continue to give children and young people the best education in the safest way possible.

One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with Covid-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.

Therefore, I ask that you all follow these principles:

  •  You should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:
    1. a high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature)
    2. a new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
    3. a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal
  • Your child does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
  • If you are unsure about whether to get a test, please check the official list of symptoms on the NHS website, which is reviewed regularly: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
  • Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self-isolate whilst waiting for the test result.
  • If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self-isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
  • If a pupil in a class or bubble tests positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self-isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms.No one else in the same class or bubble as the symptomatic person needs to take any action unless advised by the school. Schools have detailed guidance and access to a Department for Education and Public Health England helpline for advice and support.Contacts of a person who has tested positive must follow the guidance carefully and in full, which means they must stay at home for 14 days. This is because it can take several days following contact with an infected person before an individual develops symptoms or the virus can be detected. Students should only book a test if they get symptoms.The NHS has produced some guidance to help parents understand when their child can and cannot attend school which you may find useful: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy- body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/It is vital for children’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to school and college. It is therefore vitally important that all we work together and do our bit to make this possible.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Viv Bennett CBE

Chief Nurse and Director Maternity and Early Years | Public Health England

Head of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Susan Hopkins

Interim Chief Medical Officer | NHS Test & Trace

Deputy Director | Public Health England

Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology
Royal Free, London

Useful resources

Launch of NHS COVID-19 app 

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free in England and Wales. The leaflet for parents and carers explaining how the app works is now available to download here.

Testing Advice for Schools & Parents/Carers

Who can ask for a test?You can ask for a test for a child who lives with you who has coronavirus symptoms, whatever their age.
These symptoms include one or more of the following:
– High temperature. This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
– A new continuous cough. This means coughing a lot more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have cough, it may be worse than usual)
– Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. This means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
The test must be done in the first five days of having symptoms
How to ask for a testOption 1 (usual route)
Parents book a test online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/ or by calling 119.

Parents will need to provide details such as name, home address, mobile phone number and email address (where booking information / confirmation / results will be sent).
Parents will be asked how they want to get the test, either by;
driving to a local testing site where a tester will carry out the test (or the parent if the child is aged 11 or under)
getting a home test kit (can take up to 48hrs to arrive)
It is generally easier and quicker to use the drive through service but this depends on having access to a car. 
There are a limited number of home test kits and drive-through test appointments available at any one time. If the website says there are none left, advise parents to check again later as more tests become available every hour.  It is often easier to book later in the day or in the evening.
It is advised that you ask the parents to share the outcome of the test results.
A young person can apply for a test for themselves from the age of 16: 
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Option 2
If parents or carers are unable to book a local slot then they can email
d-ccg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net making clear the test is for a child attending a Torbay school and they will be supported to access local testing.

Option 3
In the event that a child attending school cannot be supported to access local testing then schools should consider providing one of their 10 home testing kits to the parents or carers of the child. The kits include details of how to carry out the test and how to arrange for its return.  This option is limited to families who will have difficulty accessing option 1. 

What happens?
The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
Young people aged 12 or over can do the test themselves or have someone do it for them. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.
If there is a problem
If a parent has any questions about a test they’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, they can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm on 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)

For schools

Additional information for parents about what happens following the result can be found here www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/
 

In this section