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15th July 2020

Dear parents and carers

Hopwood Hall College is committed to keeping both young people and staff members safe now they are returning to college. We would like to inform you about what our college will be doing and what we ask of you as parents or carers if your young person or any member of your household shows symptoms of coronavirus (COVID19).


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID19) are a recent start of any of the following

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature (feel hot to touch on the chest or back)
  • A loss or change in your normal sense of taste or smell

A well child/young person feels 100% well, seems themselves and not displaying any changes in behaviour or their daily routines.

An unwell child/young person could be a possible case of COVID19. Other symptoms that have been linked to COVID are vomiting, diarrhoea, sleeping more than usual, agitated, cold, headaches - anything that may indicate they are not feeling themselves.


Please DO NOT send your young person into college if:

  • They are unwell in any way
  • Anyone in the household is unwell, awaiting testing or their result, or has been tested positive.

What happens if a child/young person or member of staff becomes unwell at college?

As soon as the college is made aware, the child, young person or staff member will be sent home and advised to isolate until the result of the COVID test is known. Please collect your young person immediately, they will be in the isolation room waiting for you. The college will arrange any necessary cleaning.


How do I get a test for my child/young person?

If your child/young person is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you need to book a test at the local walk-in testing site which is located at the Rochdale Town hall car park.

A test can also be booked on the NHS website using the link below which provides you options for either a drive-through test, for which you or someone you live with must have a car to get to a regional test site or you can request for a home testing kit for yourself and anyone else you live with who has coronavirus symptoms. There is an identity check for home test kits.

www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test

Please ensure you inform the college when you have the test result, whether positive or negative.


What happens if a child, young person or staff member at the college has symptoms?

If anyone in college becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and book a test.

  • The person should isolate for a minimum of 7 days, or until the test results are received
  • Members of their household should self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 days is the time it takes for symptoms to show if you have been infected.

If a child/young person is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, ideally, a window will be opened for ventilation. The rest of the bubble need not be sent home unless the child, young person or adult has a positive test result returned.


What happens if a child, young person or staff member at the school tests positive?

Guidance states that:-

Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms. Therefore, young people and staff in their bubble need to be sent home only if the young person/adult has a positive test result.

  • The person should isolate for a minimum of 7 days, or until the test results are received
  • Members of their household should self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 days is the time it takes for symptoms to show if you have been infected.
  • The rest of their bubble/class/group within the college (children, young people and adults) will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days (and offered testing if symptoms develop).
  • The other household members who live with the contacts in the bubble/class/group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms

If my child/young person tests positive, do I need to tell people they have been in contact with?

Yes. You need to log onto the NHS Test and Trace portal https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/ and share details of all their close contacts. All close contacts (household, college related or any other close contacts) will receive a letter, a phone call or a text to advise them to self-isolate. Please also ensure that the college Principal has been informed.


What happens if my child/young person tests negative?

Your child/young person can return to college when they are 48 hours symptom free. Household members can end their isolation straight away following the negative test, unless someone else in the household is waiting for the result of their test.


What do I need to do if either myself or my child/young person has been in ‘contact’ with somebody who has tested positive

A ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others).

For example, a contact can be:

  • People who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Close personal relationships/partners
  • A person who has had face-to-face contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), including: being coughed on, having a face-to-face conversation within one metre, or having skin-to-skin physical contact, or any contact within one metre for one minute or longer
  • A person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) for more than 15 minutes
  • A person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

In a college setting context, all children, young people and staff in the ‘bubble’ will be classed as a close contact and others will be assessed on a case by case basis. If you or your child/young person falls into one of the categories above of a contact, they must self-isolate at home because you are at risk of developing symptoms in the next 14 days and could spread the virus to others before the symptoms begin. If you have concerns for your health, contact your GP or NHS 111 online. In an emergency, contact 999.


What happens if somebody in the wider college community tests positive?

If a member of the wider college community (e.g. a parent/carer, a member of our support staff, a governor) tests positive, they should let the college know immediately to identify if the confirmed case attended the setting in the 48 hours before the onset of their symptoms (or the date of the test). No further action is required in the college if the person did not attend during that time when they could have been infectious. Contact tracing will take place with the person testing positive to understand the other types of contact the individual may have had both in college and out of college.

We would like reiterate ways to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease and the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19:

  • Maintain physical distancing and to stay 2 metres apart from others (except family members)
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gathering
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this 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 in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Keep your hands away from your face (eyes, nose and mouth)

Please keep this letter for future reference. We would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to keep your children/young people safe and we thank you in advance for following this advice and guidance.

Yours sincerely,
Julia Heap
Principal and CEO