Tuesday 10th March 2020
Re: Covid19 (Coronavirus)
I am writing to update you on our intentions should the Covid 19 virus progress as indicated by the UK Government.
It is anticipated that there will be a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases on the Covid 19 virus over the coming months. It is important to remember that about 97% of people diagnosed with the virus make a full recovery. Those who are more seriously affected are people with under-lying health conditions and the elderly. To-date, Covid 19 appears to affect children under 10 much less than adults. Nonetheless, we need to be prepared if we are unable to run the nursery because too many staff are ill.
Our current advice regarding children is unchanged. If a child is unwell, parents should follow the guidance issued by Public Health which is available on their website. We will continue to send appropriate updates home. The advice is currently unchanged with the main recommendations being advice related to thorough hand washing.
Following Public Health advice, any staff falling ill after travelling abroad will be asked to contact the 111-advice help line. We will then follow the advice issued on a case-by-case basis, which may include self-isolation. At present, no member of staff has travelled to a high-risk area.
The current advice remains that no school or nursery should issue a closure notice unless told to do so by Public Health England. Should large numbers of staff be unable to attend the workplace as for it to function safely, a discussion between myself and the CEO will take place to ascertain whether a partial closure may be necessary. It is important to remember that staff absence will not necessarily be as a result of the Covid 19 virus, but possibly because of the preventative measures to ensure illness does not spread and increase, increasing the risk of burdens to our health system in the current climate.
I will determine in discussion with the CEO how many rooms are to remain open. It is likely that rooms will be amalgamated if child numbers are low.
Under such circumstances and where a partial closure of nursery is implemented, nursery staff will be expected to work flexibly. In the event of a partial nursery closure, the viability of nursery opening fully the next day will be assessed and parents will be advised by 4pm of plans for the next day. This information will be on the nursery website.
Full Nursery Closure
If we receive an instruction to close the nursery from the Public Health Authority, we can expect it will last for a minimum of two weeks, probably longer.
A full nursery closure will be shared in the usual way via Parentmail, Tapestry, County website and social media. It is very likely that if one local school or nursery has been asked to close, that they will all need to close for the same reason.
I thank you for your support and patience. We will keep you updated as often as we can.