Below is information prepared by the Education Authority and PHA regarding a confirmed case of COVID-19 being registered in an attendee of the pre-school. Do please read the guidance and take any steps necessary to help us monitor and take action where needed. If you require a lateral flow kit for home testing do let us know and we can provide them.

For a Pre-school like ours the Education Authority has their guidance, the government has an ever changing set of rules as the pandemic shifts and in the mix is social services and none of them cooperate. It is our responsibility however to care as best we can for your children and your extended family and while Chirpys has been lucky to have avoided virus incidents until now, we will keep everyone informed and work with you to try to make sure we enter the festive season as safely as possible, especially with the Omicron variant now establishing itself which is proving much more infectious than any variant to date.

The Chirpy’s Team regularly test for themselves for infection despite being vaccinated as we continue to try to keep our defences up against the virus and prevent transmission which can still occur with vaccination. With a positive test in the pre-school staff will be increasing their testing as if we lose a staff member to self-isolation we would fall under the minimum adult to children staff ratio set by social services and would not be able to remain open with only a few days left before Christmas. We will keep everyone posted and would encourage families to check for symptoms and make use of tests and thank you for your cooperation.

CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN A PRE-SCHOOL SETTING

Where a case of confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has been reported in a person with links to a school setting, all close contacts of the case who need to take specific actions with regard to testing and self-isolation will be identified, contacted and advised by the Public Health Agency (PHA) Contact Tracing Service.

If you are contacted by PHA Contact Tracing Service, please follow the guidance that they provide to you. Information on the latest self-isolation requirements can be found on NI Direct https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-self- isolating). The advice on what to do if a close contact changed on 16th August 2021.

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of:
 new continuous cough and/or
 high temperature and/or
 a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Please book a free PCR test, even if an earlier one was negative. Your child should stay at home and self-isolate until you receive the result. Please see Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating | nidirect for guidance on whether other people in your household also need to self-isolate while you are waiting for your child’s PCR result.

Tests can be arranged at your closest testing site or by requesting a postal kit which will be sent to your home address. You can choose whichever option is more convenient for you. Going for a COVID test is one of the reasons your child can leave home during the self-isolation period, however, they should not use public transport. Please order a postal test if you do not have private transport to a test site.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19:
 Please get vaccinated if you are eligible and haven’t already done so
 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

Further information
For further information, please see the NI Direct website Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating | nidirect the Public Health Agency website https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus or contact NHS 111. If your child feels unwell and you are worried about their symptoms or about anyone else in the home, please contact your GP.

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