I am sure that you will be aware from the television and radio that a ‘Major Incident’ has been declared in Buckinghamshire amid fears the number of Covid-19 cases could overwhelm the county's health services. We are currently faced with a rapidly deteriorating situation in Buckinghamshire which is fuelled by the new, far more transmissible COVID-19 variant. Taking all this into account, I wanted to take this opportunity to contact you all.
Firstly, infant and junior schools in Buckinghamshire are staying open, and we will be welcoming children back on Tuesday 5 January 2021. Even if you live outside Buckinghamshire in an area where schools are closed, your child is still allowed to come to school in Buckinghamshire at present.
Secondly, we urge you to be vigilant. Covid-19 can present itself in many different ways, especially in children. Some children may seem to have a cold or have stomach pains/an upset stomach. Please, if your child is ill, keep them at home. If they have a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of (or change in) taste or smell, get them tested and keep them at home until the result comes back. Tests can be booked at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Thirdly, it is very important that we all remember the restrictions for Tier 4 areas:
- Residents should stay at home, unless they have a "reasonable excuse" such as work or education
- You cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
We know this is a very worrying time. We will do everything we can to try and keep everyone safe. Undoubtedly there will be more cases in school so please be prepared in case year groups need to isolate. Some of the precautions we are taking in school are:
- Children will be kept in year group bubbles at all times.
- Windows and doors will be kept open at all times. You may want to send your child with extra layers as classrooms will be cold.
- Children will be asked to use hand gel at different points during the day. Please do not send your child with their own hand gel as many of the ones children had last term did not have enough alcohol in them to be effective.
- As much as possible children will not share resources.
- Staff will only be working in one year group to ensure bubbles are maintained.
It is also vital that at pick up and drop off times you remember to maintain social distancing and use the in/out gates. Please do not use these times as a social event.
Staff will be outside at the start and end of the day. However, to try and keep everyone safe, we would ask if you need to speak to someone you call the school.
As we still haven’t yet seen the impact from moving into Tier 4, these numbers may continue to increase swiftly and we cannot relax our behaviours just yet. It’s vital that we all continue to play our part in helping to reduce the transmission of the virus by strictly following the current Tier 4 guidance. So, for the coming weeks please take all the precautions you can.
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