Message To All Parents 09.02.20
Brighton and Hove City Council's Directorate of Families, Children and Learning has provided an update to Headteachers in the city, including information for parents:
I’m writing to keep you informed that it’s been confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer for England that a further patient has tested positive for 2019 Novel Coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to four.
The new case is a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France. Experts at Public Health England (PHE) continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified this individual and ensured the appropriate support was provided. This patient followed Public Health advice by self-isolating rather than going to A&E.
I understand that it may be concerning to your teaching staff, parents and pupils, that people have been told to ‘self-isolate’. This is a precaution, and absolutely the right thing to do, to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Those who have been told to “self-isolate” are being asked to take the same precautions that everyone would to avoid other people if suffering from a heavy cold or the winter flu - stay at home and not go to work or school. During this time, they will be supported by Public Health England, who are monitoring them and will undertake further testing if they show any symptoms of the virus, and provide any further care needed.
Public Health England are leading on control measures and they will be contacting people who may be affected using their established systems for similar situations. If someone has not been contacted by PHE as a close contact, they do not need to take any action.
Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close.
We’ve included more information below for you to share as soon as possible with families and school staff. Please do continue to maintain your excellent hygiene standards in your buildings and continue to share advice on the common-sense steps to prevent the spread of illnesses. It’s as simple as washing hands regularly with soap and water and using tissues to reduce the spread of infections.
Here is advice from Public Health England to share with your school community:
What is the coronavirus?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus has been spreading since it was first reported in December 2019.
Symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing and shortness of breath. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
If you develop these symptoms and have recently travelled to an area where the coronavirus is being widely reported or believe you may have come in contact with the virus then you should stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of the details linking you to the virus.
A case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Brighton & Hove?
One individual from Brighton & Hove tested positive on Thursday 6 February and is in a London hospital where they are being well cared for.
The new case is a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France. Where this person lives has not been confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer.
Public Health England is the lead organisation responding to the situation. Public Health England is working with partner organisations to take measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus.
Anyone who may have been in contact with the virus is currently being identified and will be contacted directly by Public Health England.
What should I do?
If you do feel unwell having travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days, then you should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days then you should stay indoors and avoid contact with others as you would with flu, and call NHS 111 informing them of your symptoms and inform them of your recent travel to the city.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you are feeling unwell and have not been contacted by Public Health England, then there is no need for concern.
You should continue to treat your symptoms as usual for seasonal flu or a common cold. If you feel unwell and do not know what you should do, then call NHS 111.
Where can I find more information?
- Information for the public: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- Blog and frequently asked questions: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/
- Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Earlier this afternoon the following update was sent by Mr Poston to all PACA parents and carers on Groupcall.
Dear Parents and Carers,
I write to you again following the email I sent out on Friday regarding the Coronavirus.
We have just received a new update from the Council following medical advice from Public Health England. They have said: “The Council, following medical advice from Public Health England, advises that there is no reason for schools to close. Anyone identified as being at risk will be contacted directly by Public Health England.”
I completely appreciate the worry this situation has caused. We continue to work with the Council and on the medical advice from Public Health England to make sure that we are responding in the right way. We will send out any further updates as soon as we are informed by the Council.
Mr Mark Poston