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Weekly COVID-19 Update: 21/05/21

Update Covid-19: Advice to all students, parents and carers 21/05/21

Dear students, parents and carers,
Further to my last Covid update email to you on 14th May 2021, I am now writing with this week’s update and important information relating to the following: 

  1. Information relating to Step 3 of the roadmap to easing COVID restrictions, including guidance on face coverings
  2. Home test kits for students
  3. Reported number of positive covid cases

1. Information relating to Step 3 of the roadmap to easing COVID restrictions, with guidance on face coverings (including adult and higher education students)

From 17th  May, in line with Step 3 of the roadmap, face coverings will no longer be recommended for students in classrooms or communal areas. However, students can of course, continue to wear face coverings if they wish to do so. Staff will also no longer be required to wear face coverings in classrooms but will continue to wear face coverings in communal areas e.g. corridors where social distancing is not always possible and this will apply to visitors as well.

In our commercial training environments, such as hairdressing, barbering and beauty salons, sports and fitness facilities or restaurants, students must comply with relevant sector guidance in working safely during COVID-19 and the current restriction guidance continues to apply which will include the wearing of face coverings if not exempt. Some FE courses, such as vocational training, healthcare-related courses and the performing arts may pose particular risks of aerosol, droplet and surface transmission and may therefore warrant increased consideration, for example, face coverings, ventilation or cleaning in accordance with guidance issued for the relevant professional working arrangements. Tutors will advise students accordingly.

Classrooms will continue to be set up to support social distancing and social distancing advice in communal areas will remain.

In acknowledgement that from 17th May 2021, up to 6 people or 2 households will be able to meet indoors, social distancing tape will be removed from tables in all catering outlets to allow students to sit in groups of 6. The reduced number of tables in outlets and an enhanced cleaning regime will remain. Hand sanitiser will be available on entry to the outlets and students will still be issued with cutlery.

Please note that as a College community we are taking small steps to ease COVID restrictions. In the event of a local outbreak it is likely that COVID safety measures such as the wearing of face coverings could be reinstated. As a College community we have collectively done exceptionally well to ensure there has not been any evidence of in-college transmission of the virus and we will continue to ensure COVID secure measures are implemented as and when necessary to maintain this position.

2. Home test kits for students (including 14-16, FE, Apprentices and Adults, except HE)

Students should continue to test themselves twice a week at home on a Sunday and Wednesday evening after 6pm for the foreseeable future.

Students must report their result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone following 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. QR codes on the test kits boxes are now available and will simplify and speed up the reporting process. Please note the College reporting form has also been simplified to capture only the minimum essential information that the Government have asked us to collate.

Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of College, in our fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to keep testing going through the holidays to manage the spread of COVID-19 and we encourage students to get into the regular habit of testing themselves every 3 to 4 days (twice a week).

Reporting positive COVID results

Please also 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.   

3. 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:  0 (Total cases reported in the last three weeks (to include the current week and the two weeks of the Easter break) – this gives an indication of the number of current cases)
Total cases:  84  (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) 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support and I hope you have a great weekend.

Yours sincerely,  

Laurence Frewin 
Principal and CEO  
South Devon College 

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