21 July 2021
My Ref: JW/HC/LMc
Contact: Julia Weldon
Tel: 01482 612509
Date: 20 July 2021
Dear Parent or Carer,
As you will know, many of the Covid 19 restrictions have been lifted this week and the Government has said that this was designed to coincide with the end of term. This has led to some confusion about what is happening in schools that are still open this week, so I am writing to explain the situation.
The number of people who have Covid 19 in Hull is going up very quickly, with over 1350 people testing positive last week. Everyone who gets Covid has caught it from someone else – so we still need to keep measures in schools to reduce the spread. About 100,000 adults in Hull have not been fully vaccinated yet, and they remain at risk of severe illness and death if they catch Covid. For these reasons, I have advised our schools and colleges to maintain the same protections that they have had in place this term for this final week.
One of the best ways of reducing onward spread is for people who have been in close contact with a person who has Covid to isolate. This is because they have a higher chance of developing it themselves in the coming days, and they will be infectious to others before they start to feel unwell or test positive.
I have asked schools and colleges in Hull to continue to work with my Public Health Team to identify the close contacts of cases using the nationally agreed definition (see over), where necessary, until the end of term. Sometimes you will hear about this via the national Test and Trace system, but you may still be notified by school where this is quicker and more effective. No-one will be asked to stay at home unless Public Health have advised that it is necessary to keep the school community safe in that specific situation.
I do understand how frustrating and disruptive it is to have a child isolating. But if we don’t do this, there will be many more staff and pupils who catch Covid before the end of term, some of whom will be really poorly.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and I wish you a safe and happy summer holidays.
Director of Public Health and Adult Social Care/Deputy Chief Executive
Definition of contact:
A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others. A risk assessment may be undertaken to determine this, but a contact can be:
- anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
- anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
- face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
- been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
- been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.