Update Covid-19: Advice to all students, parents and carers 15/07/2021
Dear students, parents and carers
Further to my recent communication to you on 9th July 2021, please find below important information relating to the following:
- Government announcements this week
- On-site COVID-19 Testing – students
- Reporting a POSITIVE COVID-19 test result out of hours
- Reporting COVID-19 Cases: Latest data
- Government announcements this week
In line with local, regional, and national trends the College has again seen an increase in the number of COVID cases primarily amongst students so far this week.
We now know that legal restrictions will end on Monday 19th July 2021. Limits on social contact will end, meaning there will be no restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings. Weddings, funerals and other life events are able to take place without limits or restrictions. Social distancing will also end.
All venues currently closed will be allowed to reopen, including nightclubs, and there will be no legal requirement for table service in hospitality settings.
Face coverings will no longer be legally required in shops, education settings, hospitality, or on public transport although guidance will be in place to suggest where people might choose to wear one, such as where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet in enclosed and crowded places, particularly on public transport.
Whilst face coverings are not required to be worn by students, staff and visitors to the College from this date, we are asking all to respect the choices of others if they choose to wear one. Please also respect that some individuals may wish to maintain social distancing.
From a College perspective, from 16th August we will no longer have to conduct contact tracing in the event of a positive case as this will be managed by NHS Test and Trace. Also from this date, students under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS test and Trace as a close contact of a positive case. Fully vaccinated adults will not have to self-isolate if they are identified as a contact of a positive case. Adults not fully vaccinated will have to self-isolate.
Please see a link below to communication provided by our local Director of Public Health.
- On-site Covid Testing – students
As students will potentially mix with lots of other people during the summer holidays, all FE providers are required to offer students two onsite lateral flow device tests on return to college after the summer break.
After the initial programme of two tests in college, students will be provided with rapid tests to use each week at home. During onsite testing, students will be supervised as they undertake the lateral flow test. The students will swab themselves and the testing site staff will collect the swab, process the test and record the results. Testing remains voluntary but is strongly encouraged.
A letter explaining the lateral flow testing process for students will be shared with all students, parents and carers shortly. Prior to undertaking the lateral flow test, students need to provide consent. For students younger than 16 years the 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, the form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Individuals with a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result will need to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. Those with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend college unless they have individually been advised otherwise by NHS Test and Trace or Public Health professionals (for example as a close contact).
To comply with testing requirements, we will be operating our lateral flow testing facility in the Sports Hall at Vantage Point from Tuesday 7th September until 30th September. Students will be provided with their results via text/email 30 minutes after they have undertaken the test. Both tutors and students will be notified of a positive result. Tutors will contact their students to notify them of the date and time of their onsite tests.
- Reporting positive COVID results Out of Hours
Please remember to complete the ‘Out of hours Notification of a POSITIVE COVID-19 test result’ form using the link on the South Devon College website to alert us immediately 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.
- 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: (Total confirmed positive cases reported in the last week)||6|
|Total cases: (A running 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)||123|
I would like to take this opportunity to once again, thank you all for your ongoing support and to hope everyone is able to enjoy a break during the summer.
I will next write to you all towards the end of August to provide further updates and practical information ahead of your return to South Devon College from September.
Principal and CEO
South Devon College