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18
NOV
2021

Covid Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have been in contact with Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) to discuss the rates of COVID-19 being confirmed in Torridge and North Devon and the increasing numbers of confirmed cases within our college community.

I know that you may find this concerning but I wanted to reassure you that we are monitoring the situation and are working closely with the regional Health Security Agency. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. However, please be reassured that, for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

Thankfully the number of cases still remain relatively low within our college community, although I can confirm we do have positive cases in all year groups, with highest numbers in Year 10. When a positive case has been confirmed, identified close contacts will receive guidance directly from NHS test and trace if they have been provided with contact details. This may include being advised to take a PCR test at a local testing centre. NHS Test and Trace will not be contacting the college for details of close contacts. If you think your child is a close contact but has not been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace please follow the guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person#i-think-i-have-had-contact-with-someone-who-has-tested-positive-for-covid-19-but-i-have-not-been-notified-and-advised-to-self-isolate-what-should-i-do.

Providing close contacts are not showing any symptoms and are under 18 or are fully vaccinated they do not need to self-isolate whilst awaiting PCR test results.

Due to the current situation, we are now asking that any siblings of confirmed cases undertake daily lateral flow tests. We continue to ask all students and staff to wear facial coverings in communal, inside areas. This includes the canteen, lower and upper winter garden, and all corridors. Please can I ask for your support in this by providing your child with a suitable facial covering. We are currently having to give out over 1000 disposable masks every week. Any student who is exempt from wearing a facial covering should be carrying an exemption card. Please contact Mrs Vowles (rvowles@bidefordcollege.org) if your child is unable to wear a facial covering.

Thank you to the large number of families who routinely undertake the twice weekly asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device COVID-19 testing. This is an important part of the systems put in place to minimise coronavirus spread. If you have any questions, or require additional tests please contact Mrs Jewell at the College (ajewell@bidefordcollege.org).

Finally, in order that we are fully informed of the current situation, please do continue to contact our attendance officer Mrs Steyn on 01237 477611 (please select option for attendance officer) when your child is unable to attend college.

If you have any questions about any issues raised in this letter, please do contact me via email (principal@bidefordcollege.org). Whilst the pandemic is still with us, we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent any further disruption in the education of our young people.

Best wishes

Dr C Ankers
Principal

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