Coronavirus update

Sent on behalf of Dean Jackson

Dear Headteacher

Over the last week the Prime Minister and his team have made several announcements and last night he announced that a huge national effort was needed in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus disease. The public were given a simple instruction – everyone must stay at home in order to stop the disease spreading between households.
People are only to leave home for the following “very limited” purposes:To shop for essential shopping as infrequently as possible One form of exercise per day alone or with household members. Any medical needs or to provide care for a vulnerable person travelling to and from work but only when absolutely necessary and when you cannot work from home
Those who work in our schools rightly take their place next to our NHS staff and other critical workers as central to our efforts in battling this virus. Your efforts mean that the vast majority of schools in Northumberland are remaining open to look after children of key workers and the most vulnerable children.
You are supporting families through this difficult time, and we appreciate the selfless dedication that you and your staff demonstrate every single day. 
Police are now doing checks to identify why people are not staying at home. Please ensure you and your staff wear ID badges when travelling to and from work and / or delivering meals.
During this challenging time I want to make sure you know we are here to support you and I will remain in regular contact throughout. 
School transport will continue to run for any vulnerable children or children of key workers who are entitled to it. In order for us to make sure we manage this provision, we will ask schools to speak to parents, asking them to contact us if they need transport and to advise what days they will need this. Parents should email: schooltransport@northumberland.gov.uk This will be reviewed on the 27 March 2020.
We are expecting further guidance about the free school meal voucher scheme today or tomorrow, so I will update you with further information as soon as I can.
The most effective way to protect yourself from Covid-19 is to adopt good respiratory and hand hygiene to prevent the risk of infection. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
If you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child or colleague, please use https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 in the first instance or call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP, Pharmacy or other healthcare setting.
See further information on the  Public Health England Blog and the NHS UK website.
If you have any concern for your school, you should call the DfE Helpline – 0800 046 8687. You can also call the Schools Helpline Team on 0191 6438026.
As at any other time, if a journalist or reporter contacts the school, please refer them to the Northumberland County Council Press Office on 01670 622428.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support.

Dean Jackson

Service Director, Education and Skills

Well-being and Community Health Services Group
Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

NE61 2EF
Tele: 01670 622767

Mobile: 07966 331050

Email : Dean.Jackson@northumberland.gov.uk

Website : http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Twitter: @djac2110
PA – Deborah Anderson

Email : Deborah.Anderson01@northumberland.gov.uk 

Tele : 01670 622764

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