Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.
Public Health England is working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.
The localised risk to Fir Ends School is low, but will be increased if you or a close family member has visited a category 1 or 2 area within the last 14 days.
The links on this page contain information about the situation in the UK, along with guidance for what to do if you think you’re at risk.
Go to NHSUK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect yourself.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to check if you need medical help.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Official Information from the Government :
SCHOOL CLOSURES 20:03:2020
All schools are being instructed to close from 3.30pm on Friday 20th March.
SOME schools will remain open for children of key workers, children who are deemed to be vulnerable, and children whose families may have vulnerabilities.
In Cumbria, decisions on which schools will remain open are being co-ordinated by the Local Authority.
The current plan, which was being worked on throughout Thursday, is to identify regional hubs and to advise schools if they have been selected on the morning of Friday 20th March.
Two guidance documents were published around midnight on 20th March:
Further updates on the Cumbrian response will follow.
New guidance for households with symptoms(17.3.2020)
Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
The symptoms are:
The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:
The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:
If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
ADVICE TO PARENTS ON THIS BASIS: If you think your child should self-isolate in line with this advice, please let the school know before the start of the school day. You should advise us if your child has symptoms or if the isolation is due to another person in the house having them.
The absence will be marked as an 'other authorised circumstance' and a note made that this is due to self-isolation on the basis of advice from Public Health England.
Your child and any siblings will not be expected back in school any sooner than fourteen days after the start of the self-isolation period.
You should follow the 'stay at home' guidance throughout this time and your child should not mix with other pupils.
Our latest update to school procedures is here
The general advice for anyone WITHOUT symptoms in any setting is to follow these main guidelines:
If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
Today, we have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.
The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
- If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
Symptoms to look out for
If you’ve returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries, look out for the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
According to other official guidance, while you wait for further advice:
- Avoid contact with others
- Stay at home – don’t go to work or school
- Don’t travel while sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, throwing tissues in the bin
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available)