LA’s key COVID-19 messages for schools 3 December

03 Dec 2021

Omicron variant and local response plan

Testing during Christmas and in January

  • The DfE would like all high schools to prepare to test their pupils once on-site on return in January. Test kits, PPE and funding to support the workforce will be provided as before and test kits can be ordered by calling NHS Test and Trace on 119. After this test on return, pupils should continue to test in line with government guidelines. The document sharing platform has been updated to support schools to prepare for asymptomatic testing when you return in January, including (for high schools) an asymptomatic testing site. High schools will have the option to stagger the return to school for the first week to accommodate on-site testing and have the flexibility to consider how best to deliver the one test on return according to their circumstances.
  • For those in settings closing over Christmas, all staff and students should test over the holidays in line with national guidance. This means that they should test if they will be in a high-risk situation that day, and before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get Covid-19
  • For settings remaining open over the Christmas period (such as private nurseries or adult education providers), staff and students should continue to test at home twice per week over the holiday period.
  • Please be aware of a fake NHS email being sent to education and childcare settings which asks you to order ‘Omicron PCR test kits’. The NHS will never ask you for bank details so please be aware of these suspicious emails or similar text messages. Further information on how to spot and report scam emails, text messages and phone calls is available through the National Cyber Security Centre.

Vaccinations

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has urgently reviewed vaccine response measures:

  • All adults aged 18 to 39 years should be offered a booster dose, in order of descending age groups. To be given no sooner than three months after the primary course
  • All severely immunosuppressed individuals should be offered their booster dose no sooner than three months after completing their primary course of 3 doses
  • Young people aged 12 to 15 years should receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, no sooner than twelve weeks after the first dose
  • Further information on how 12 to 15 year olds will be able to access a second dose of the vaccine, and how adults below the age of 40 will be able to access a booster vaccination, will be provided shortly.
  • JCVI previously advised that those aged over 40 years and those at higher risk from COVID-19 should be offered a booster. Those eligible can book their appointment on the NHS website

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 schoolshealthandsafety@ealing.gov.uk
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Last updated: 07 Dec 2021

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