| Categories: News

Weekly COVID-19 Update: 19/03/21

Dear students, parents and carers 

Further to my last communication to you on 12th March 2021, please find detailed below important information relating to the following:

  1. Student testing arrangements
  2. Home test kits for students
  3. Home tests kits for staff
  4. NHS booking site for specific individuals to book a vaccine

Student testing arrangements onsite 

The majority of our students have now received at least their second COVID-19 test through our onsite testing facility.

A letter explaining the lateral flow testing process for students 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 – 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.  

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). If students have previously provided consent, they will not need to do this again for their second and third tests.

Tutors will be contacting students directly to notify them of the their second and third testing appointment.

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).

From 19th April we will move to a smaller test centre at Level 1, Vantage Point (opposite Reception) so that those students who are unable or do not wish to test themselves at home are able to be tested regularly. This facility will also offer twice weekly testing to all HE students. No onsite testing will be taking place over the Easter break. Any students who will need to access the onsite testing facility from 19th April, should notify their tutor as soon as possible.

Home Test kits for students

After the initial programme of three tests in college, students will be supplied with Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits to self-swab and test themselves twice a week at home on a Sunday and Wednesday evening after 6pm. Students will be issued with their home testing kits when they arrive at the test centre for their third and final onsite test. Each student will be issued with 2 boxes, which contain 3 tests kits. These boxes will be ‘signed out’ to the specific student by the testing centre team.

It is important that students continue home testing over the Easter holidays and that they have an adequate supply of kits to enable them to test twice a week up to and including Sunday 25th April.

Some students may have completed their series of 3 tests but only received a limited supply of self-test kits. These students must collect their additional kits from the Sports Hall on the following dates 24th, 25th, 26th, 29th, 30th and 31st March. These students should notify their tutor as soon as possible.

Students must report their result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone as per the instructions in the booklet provided with the home test kit.

Students must also share their result, either positive, negative or VOID with the College to help with contact tracing using the link HERE. Those with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend College.
 

Face Coverings

We continue to closely monitor Government guidance on the use of face coverings in Further Education settings.

Face coverings are largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission for the virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

In recognition of the new variants of COVID-19, whilst onsite and undertaking any activity, face coverings, must be worn by students and staff at all times when moving around the College, in corridors and communal areas and in all classrooms, workshops and offices where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.   

A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth. The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others. 

This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example during sports lessons and physical activity. Parents of students under 18 who are exempt, should email tutors to confirm the exemption. 

If this email is not received, we will expect a face covering to be worn or a recognised exemption lanyard or badge to be visible at all times.

NHS Booking Site for Specific Users to Book a Vaccine

There is a NHS website which offers users a service to book or manage their COVID vaccine. Further details are available here.

These quick 30 minute tests are for people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms must follow the usual guidance and book a test.


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: 1 (Total cases reported in the last week – this gives an indication of the number of current cases)
During the last week all of these are cases reported by students or staff who are learning or working remotely due to lockdown. 
Total cases:  81 (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) 

Reporting positive Covid results


Please remember to complete the ‘Out of hours Notification of a POSITIVE 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 here or via our website www.southdevon.ac.uk

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support.


Yours sincerely,  
 
Laurence Frewin  
Principal and CEO  
South Devon College