Letter from Chief Medical Officer to Parents/Carers

11 September 2021

Please find attached a letter from The Chief Medical Officer in relation to a significant change in guidance in relation to the identification of close contacts in a school setting. Click on the blue link to read the letter: Letter from Prof Sir Michael McBride to Parents, Pupils and the school community.pdf

Although it is important that you read the letter, in short, schools are no longer required to track and trace close contacts of positive cases. This will all be completed by PHA and PHA will make contact directly with confirmed close contacts.  In terms of school, this will mean that class bubbles are unlikely to be closed and the majority of the children in the class are unlikely to be asked to take a PCR test if there is a confirmed case in the class. Only people contacted by PHA will need to take action. 

Within this new process, if your child is tested positive you will deal directly with PHA and they will identify with you and your child their close contacts both inside and outside of school. Those contacts will then be notified by PHA. They have indicated to schools than in limited circumstances they may need the help of school staff in getting contact details or identifying close contacts in very young children or those with communication difficulties. 

Please continue to inform the school if your child has tested positive for COVID or has been identified as a close contact. Also if your child tests positive on either a lateral flow test or PCR test, please keep close contacts/friendship groups/families informed. I urge caution around pupils attending school when a household family member has tested positive. I will continue to inform parents/carers if there has been a positive case in your child's class and an alert letter/email will be sent. I will issue a template letter, provided by PHA, to parents if there has been a confirmed case in your child's class.

The days ahead will be new territory for us all but hopefully it will enable the majority our pupils to remain in school and get on with work and play. 

Thank you as always for your support and patience. 

Mrs K Taylor