23 October 2020

Parental letter from the Director of Public Health for County Durham & the Head of Education & Skills

Dear Parents & Carers,

Firstly, can I thank everyone, children, parents and school staff alike, for their efforts during this first term of the school year. Although it’s been a challenge for many, we have started to see a steady rhythm within schools living under COVID measures.

It is in this respect that I write to you today. With the high rates of COVID-19 in County Durham currently, I am asking parents to let the school know if their child tests positive for COVID-19 during the half term break. If your son or daughter receives a positive COVID-19 test after Friday 23rd October 2020 please contact the school immediately (school@durhamjohnston.org.uk) with the following information.

Name of child

Class/year group

Date of the COVID-19 test

Does the child have symptoms? Yes or No

What date did the symptoms start?

What date did the child last attend school?

It is very important that you provide this information so that the school can identify any close contacts that your son or daughter may have had in school during their infectious period. The school will then follow up close contacts and request that they isolate for 14 days to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. Please note that you should also report any close contacts that your child has had outside the school setting through NHS Test and Trace. If you are unable to contact your school please make sure you have provided information of all close contacts within the school to NHS Test and Trace.

In addition I know our children and young people will still want to see their friends during the holidays, but please can I remind all parents that children and young people must not meet up in groups larger than six people (of any age) and that young people should not be gathering indoors with friends. Please also remember where they do meet up in groups of six or less they should still observe social distancing and good hand hygiene. Helping our children and young people to understand the importance of this will help to keep us all safe and healthy.

Thank you again for your help in this matter and I wish you a safe and well half term break.

Yours faithfully

Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health for County Durham

Richard Crane, Head of Education and Skills