Lothian NHS Board
2-4 Waterloo Place
Advice to parents/carers
Our Ref Health Protection Team
Enquiries to School
COVID-19 information letter to parents and carers
This is to inform you that cases of confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have been reported in a people with links to Gracemount High School.
All close contacts of the cases who need to take specific actions have been identified, contacted and advised to follow the latest guidance on self-isolation and testing.
From August 9th 2021, these procedures have been updated for:
– adults who are fully vaccinated, who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive; and
– children and young people aged under 18 who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive.
Further information on the latest self-isolation requirements can be found on the NHS Inform website at: www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19 or Translations (nhsinform.scot) for accessible, easy read formats or other languages.
What you need to do
There is no requirement for you or your child to self-isolate unless you are contacted by Test and Protect. This could happen if the contacts your child has had in the school environment or other settings – most likely social or overnight settings – are assessed as requiring targeted action.
The school has multiple control measures in place against COVID-19, supported with regular testing of staff, to limit the risk of onwards transmission within the school environment.
If there are any further cases of COVID-19 in the school, Test and Protect and the local NHS Health Protection Team will work to ensure these individuals, and any of their relevant close contacts, are advised to self-isolate and follow the latest guidance.
The school remains open in line with current Scottish Government guidelines and if there are any further updates we will communicate this to the school community. If your child has notbeen advised that they are a relevant close contact and remains well, they can continue to attend school as per your school’s current arrangements. Anyone with COVID symptoms of a new and persistent cough, fever, altered or absent sense of taste or smell should stay at home and get a PCR test.
If you have been advised by Test and Protect that your child has been identified as a relevant close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the guidance they have provided. The information below is general information for parents/carers whose children have notbeen identified as a close contact where targeted action is required.
Keep testing regularly, even without symptoms
Regular testing even when you don’t have symptoms can help keep you and your school community safe.
If your child is at secondary school, they can access free LFD tests from the school, to allow them to test twice-weekly at home as long as they have no symptoms. Please contact the school directly to ask about this if your child is having problems accessing tests.
Please encourage your child to test twice-weekly, and to record all positive, negative or void results on the online reporting portal at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result. Reporting results helps public health experts understand what is happening with COVID-19 in your area, so they can take early action to address any problems.
In addition, you and the rest of your family, including primary school-aged children, can access free test kits through the Universally Accessible Testing programme, which is available to everyone in Scotland. Free at-home LFD test kits are available for collection from COVID test centres or pharmacies, or delivery by ordering online. More information can be found at: www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/no-covid-symptoms.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19
Please be particularly vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. If your child develops any symptoms of COVID-19 they must not come to school. They should stay at home from when their symptoms started, self-isolate, and get tested for COVID-19. Find out more on NHS Inform. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
· a new continuous cough and/or
· a high temperature and/or
· a loss of, or change in, taste or smell (anosmia).
All other household members of your child (including yourself) must also stay at home and follow the latest guidance, which can be found on NHS Inform. In the event of a positive result, Test and Protect will contact you to provide tailored advice on what to do.
Booking a test
To get a test for you or your child if they or you develop symptoms, you can:
· Book a test at NHS Informfor your nearest COVID-19 test site, or by calling 119. There are drive-through, walk-through, mobile testing units across Scotland which are open from 8-am until 8pm, 7 days a week. A full list of sites can be found at Gov.Scot.
· Order a home PCR test kit online, or by calling 119. A test will then be delivered to your home. To return you can either drop the test at your nearest priority post box, or if you are unable to go out, you can also call 119 to book a courier collection from your home.
It is important that anyone with one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms gets tested, so that anyone who tests positive knows to continue to stay at home and self-isolate. This will help stop the spread of coronavirus.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child develops symptoms you can seek advice from NHS Inform.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. Do:
· get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so and are eligible. Vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19 causing anyone to become seriously unwell. If anyone who is eligible in your family or home have not yet been vaccinated, then they should arrange vaccination as soon as possible. This could also help you avoid having to self-isolate in the future. Information on how to arrange a vaccination can be found on NHS inform.
· regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
· use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
· wash your hands as soon as you get home
· cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
· put used tissues straight in the bin and wash your hands.
· open windows/doors regularly to ventilate your home
· be vigilant for COVID symptoms
· self-isolate when you have COVID symptoms or have been advised to by Test and Protect.
For general Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions and information: https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/coronavirus/coronavirus-faq?age=0
If you would like to speak to someone or if you have any questions, please contact the school office.
I look forward to seeing your child return to school in line with the guidance in this letter.