Update for families from Brighton & Hove City Council about the coronavirus
You may be hearing a lot in the news at the moment about the reported incidents of coronavirus in the city and we understand parents and carers may be especially anxious and hope the following information will be helpful:
Public Health England is the lead organisation responding to the situation. Public Health England is working closely with partner organisations such as BHCC 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. If someone has not been contacted by PHE as a close contact, they do not need to take any action. For any general enquiries, or if you believe you have come into contact with the virus you should stay indoors and contact NHS 111.
The advice to the schools in the city remains the same. Public Health England (PHE) and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close.
If Head teachers have any concerns they have been advised to speak with Public Health England. Any decision to close a mainstream or special school will be the Head teachers and this will need to be based on the information individual to each school. Before deciding to close a school we have advised Head teachers to consider the following issues:
- How you will explain the reason for the closure to families?
- What circumstances will need to change for you to reopen the school?
- What advice will be given to staff and families?
If a school decides not to follow PHE advice, Head teachers will need to communicate the reasons to the school community. In the first instance, we have asked schools to contact the council’s Schools Team if they are considering issuing a statement about closure, pupils or staff self-isolating, so we can support them with these communications.
If you are concerned as to whether your child’s school is remaining open please check their website on a regular basis.
Public Health information
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.
We have been advised by Public Health that members of the public should refer to the following websites for more information and advice, this includes those parents/ carers who have children with additional needs and pre-existing medical conditions:
- (PHE Blog): what you need to know https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/
- Information for the Public: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- Coronavirus (2019n-CoV): https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus
We will endeavour to provide updates on the Amaze website and Facebook pages as and when we have any more information, or updated advice.