LA’s key COVID-19 messages for schools 19 November
19 Nov 2021
Risk assessing school events
- Schools are reminded of the need to undertake a risk assessment prior to in-person events such as open days and parents’ evenings. Schools have adapted to enable these events to go ahead through the use of ticketing, smaller groups, encouraging use of face coverings and adhering to baseline covid measures. Please note, schools that have reached DfE thresholds may not be able to go ahead with in-person events (depending on how they are run). This should be discussed with LCRC and the local authority on a case-by-case basis.
LCRC update on face coverings
- For the remainder of the autumn term, the local authority will be able to recommend (without approval first by central government) the use of face coverings in communal areas within secondary schools where there is a high or rapidly increasing prevalence of Covid-19. Any recommendations regarding face coverings in classrooms will only be made for individual settings as part of outbreak management and following consideration of the potential impact on communication, teaching and learning. Prior to the local authority implementing any such measures, head teacher representatives will be consulted.
- The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all healthy 16 to 17 year olds should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second vaccine dose should be given 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose. For those in this age group who have had the COVID-19 infection, the second vaccine dose should be given 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose, or 12 weeks following a positive Covid-19 test result – whichever is later. Those ‘at risk’ will continue to be offered a second dose 8 weeks after their first dose. 16 and 17 year olds will not be vaccinated through the schools programme, but through vaccination centres, community pharmacies and GP led primary care network sites. The national booking service will be available from Monday 22 November for 16 and 17 year olds to book their vaccine.
- The JCVI has advised that, in addition to those aged over 50 years and at higher risk from COVID-19, all adults aged 40 to 49 years should be offered an mRNA COVID-19 booster vaccine, 6 months after their second dose, irrespective of the vaccines given for the first and second doses.
- A statistic for schools share with the wider community- In September 2021, 83% of people admitted to ITU with complications arising from Covid-19 in North West London were unvaccinated. There are a number of resources on EGfL that can be used to support schools where vaccination uptake is low. These include videos on why it is important to get vaccinated and information on demystifying covid-19 vaccines.
- A reminder that anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating can return to school after 10 days provided that their symptoms have gone or if the symptoms remaining are a cough or anosmia (loss of smell), which can last for several weeks.
- Anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of Covid-19.
Covid case notifications
- Schools continue to notify the local authority of any positive Covid cases using the notification form on EGfL
- A request to schools to make it clear in the subject title of emails to the LA if any DfE thresholds are met
- A request to schools to send notification of any positive cases when they become apparent, and not to bulk send notification forms to the LA.
- A request to schools to no longer send notification forms to Ealing’s Public Health Team. Forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 19 Nov 2021