Covid 19 – our updates

Corona-virus (COVID-19)

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a common type of virus. They typically cause fever and a cough, which may progress to more severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties in some people, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild and most of those who have died have had pre-existing health conditions.

Because little is known about this new strain of the virus, it is not clear how it is spread, however, similar viruses tend to be spread by coughs and sneezes – so the way the infection gains entry to the body is the same as the way it exits and spreads to others.

It is also possible that the virus may be spread by touching a surface or object that has been coughed or sneezed on by someone with the virus – such as by touching a doorknob or shaking hands with someone and then touching your face.

There is currently no specific cure for the new coronavirus so treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS advises that symptoms of the coronavirus usually include:

  • feeling tired
  • difficulty breathing
  • a high temperature
  • a persistent cough
  • a loss or changed sense of smell or taste (also called anosmia) 

 

Government updates Action for Early Years guidance

 

The Department for Education has updated the Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance in light of the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19, known as the Omicron variant.

The main changes are:

Self-isolation rules: The updated Actions guidance states that: “All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and will be asked to book a PCR test.” It adds that these close contacts “will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category”.

The self-isolation rules for all other close contacts (i.e. of Covid cases that have not been identified as the Omicron variant) remain unchanged.

Face coverings: The government is now recommending that “face coverings should be worn when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas” as a “temporary measure”. This recommendation applies to “staff and visitors, including children aged 11 or above on 31 August 2021”. Face covering do not need to be worn outdoors.

There is also new guidance on:

  • Circumstances where people may not be able to wear face coverings
  • Access to face coverings (including the recommendation to have a small contingency supply)
  • The safe wearing and removal of face coverings

International travel: The updated guidance states that: “All travellers arriving into the UK should isolate and get a PCR test by ‘day two’ after arrival – this will be legally required from 30 November.” It adds that travellers “may end their isolation once they receive a negative result. If the result is positive, they should continue to isolate and follow rules on isolation following a positive test”.

 

Baby and toddler groups

Guidance for baby and toddler groups has remained unchanged. Groups can operate as normal and without restrictions on attendance, though Actions for Early Years states that they should follow the control measures detailed in the guidance.

For all the latest updates on Covid-19 guidance changes, visit the Alliance’s Operating during Lockdown and Beyond FAQs page.

The DfE’s Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance is available here.

Corona Virus
Corona Virus

Parents

The government has also published guidance for parents on the issue of parent fees during closures: “We are asking providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents”.

The full government parent guidance is available here.

 

Handwashing
Hand washing

 

 

Kids Hand Washing
Kids Hand Washing

What happens if a case of COVID-19 occurs in the nursery?

Inform us immediately if you or your child has contracted coronavirus!

We are required to report all confirmed cases of coronavirus, which have occurred in relation to our setting, to the Health & Safety Executive (RIDDOR) and the local Health Protection Team.

We are additionally required to report dangerous occurrences to RIDDOR which can include but is not limited to, a failure to follow current restrictions put in place by the government and local authorities, failures to establish and maintain the safety of others at nursery, etc.

Specifically, if a child, parent/carer or member of staff attending nursery has been tested and confirmed to have COVID-19, we must report it. We must also report occasions that can endanger others, such as members of the public not following social distancing or large gatherings occurring on our site.

Again please inform us immediately if you or your child has been tested and confirmed to have coronavirus!

By reporting to us, we can:

  • Report new cases of the coronavirus to the local authorities, so the local community can continue to stay alert of new occurrences,
  • Inform and isolate staff and other individuals that came into contact with yourself and/or your child to prevent further spread,
  • Launch an emergency deep-clean to remove the virus from nursery and thus, allow other key working families to continue using our service.

What will change at the nursery?

We are currently taking steps to change our provision so we can continue to provide the best childcare whilst keeping the children, their families and our staff team staff.

Our policies are changing slightly and are still in the works, and we will go into more detail about specific changes that are happening at nursery, including how arrivals and collections will be organised, as well as routine changes in the classroom.

On arrival at nursery, all staff and children will have their temperatures checked with our non-touch thermometers and recorded in their files ad in the child’s notes. If it is noted that a child has a raised temp, we will not be permitted to take that child into the nursery and they must be returned home. Again if a child develops the snuffles or a runny nose, we will call the parent to come to collect the child as we need to be very mindful that we limit the levels of infections on the premises

Covid Rainbow
COVID19 Rainbow

Parents will also not be allowed into the nursery premises during these unprecedented times, again to limit and prevent the incidents of cross-infection. Staff will also continue to monitor the children during the day and we will try to practice distance play as much as possible.

We are still finalising the details how things will work efficiently – once everything is ready, these will be available on email and our website.

Once these changes have been made, they will be posted clearly both on the Website and at the Front Doors. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for further updates.

Useful links:

 

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