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Weekly COVID-19 Update: 15/01/21

Dear students, parents and carers

Further to my last communication to you on 8th January 2021, I would like to update you on the current COVID-19   situation in the College. 

 REPORTED COVID-19 CASES: LATEST DATA  

 The table below gives the most up-to-date picture of COVID-19 infections at South Devon College in all areas. 

Weekly cases: 11 (Total cases reported in the last week – this gives an indication of the number of current cases)   During the last week all off these are cases reported by students or staff who are learning or working remotely due to lockdown. 
Total cases: 56  (total of positive/presumed positive cases reported to the College by students and staff since the first case was reported on Wednesday 7th October 2020)  

COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing Programme at South Devon College

From Monday 11th January 2021, we have been conducting Lateral Flow tests for students and staff that have been present onsite for various reasons during the current lockdown.

Our Lateral Flow testing facility is located opposite Level 1 Reception at Vantage Point. We are offering Lateral Flow tests to:

  • vulnerable students and students of critical workers who are timetabled to be on site (two tests only, three to five days apart, with no further testing needed other than below)
  • weekly testing of staff who are onsite regularly (once a week or more, for an extended period of time)
  • daily testing of close contacts of positive cases in College as an alternative to self-isolation

If tutors have agreed that students will be on site next week, and haven’t yet been tested twice, it is likely that the student will be asked to conduct a lateral flow test. Tutors will advise students of their allocated time for testing. Students should only report for their booked test slot as tests are not yet available on a “walk-in” basis.

A letter explaining the lateral flow testing process is available here. Prior to undertaking the lateral flow test, students need to provide consent. The online consent form is available here.

For students younger than 16 years old – this online consent form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. For any student who does not have the capacity to provide informed consent, this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to participate in testing.

The testing process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes and results are sent to test subjects via text or email approximately 30 minutes after swabbing.

Students should bring their mobile phone to the test facility to undertake the NHS Test and Trace registration process.

The testing facility is currently open on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. Opening hours are dependent on demand.

At present asymptomatic Lateral Flow testing is not required before students or staff can access the College. 

Teaching and Learning

All teaching and learning (with the exception of supported sessions for vulnerable students and a small number of Higher Education students) will now be conducted remotely until the end of this half term on Friday 12th February 2021.  Please note that Spring Half Term runs from Monday 15th to Friday 19th February 2021 inclusive, and there will be no scheduled teaching during that week.  We are hoping that teaching and learning will commence again onsite from Monday 22nd February 2021, the week directly after the half term break. However, this will be subject to Government approval and guidance which we should receive in due course and we will update you as necessary in a timely way. 

This online delivery or supported home learning will be formally timetabled for all students. The College will remain open to support our vulnerable learners.

Reporting positive Covid results

Please remember to complete the ‘Out of hours Notification of a POSTIVE COVID-19 test result’ form to alert us if you, a member of your household or other close contact identified through Track & Trace, receive a positive test result whilst the College is closed. This online form is available via our main website www.southdevon.ac.uk  

Continued communication

As promised, we will continue to issue a weekly update of the number of confirmed cases within the College. The next update of this academic year will be provided at 2pm on Friday 22nd January 2021.

 Once again, I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support.

 Yours sincerely,  

Laurence Frewin  

Principal and CEO  
South Devon College