Dear Parents and Carers,
Over the half-term week we have been closely tracking the information on cases in Cheshire East in relation to Covid 19. There have been some significant surges in local schools to the north of Congleton, a surge in cases around Leek and some additional cases in Staffordshire. The cases relating to schools in Cheshire West have also risen; Northwich and Winsford are experiencing very significant increases. Cases per 100,000 in Cheshire East have tripled over the last 5 days to 45/100,000.
With all this in mind we think it is sensible to re-introduce the wearing of face masks in school for all staff and students. This means in all classrooms, corridors and communal areas. Face masks are not needed outdoors. This will take effect from Monday 7th June 2021. Whilst I fully understand that this is not yet DfE advice, Cheshire LA and Cheshire Public Health have written to schools to say that they will support the wearing of face masks once again in all indoor settings in schools in the authority.
We are very mindful that we have not had any cases reported into school, but the rising trajectory of the more transmissible ‘Delta variant’ is concerning and we are working on the premise that prevention is better than cure. Public Health England have informed us that the most apparent ‘Delta variant’ symptoms in younger children and teenagers includes the following: cough, headache and an upset stomach. If you or your children directly experience any of these symptoms, please ensure that you get a PCR test as soon as possible and follow the guidelines about self-isolation. As a regular screening tool, we would recommend that you continue using the LFD tests twice a week, as these may pick up asymptomatic cases.
Please note, we have masks in school and we will happily issue a mask where a child forgets to bring their own. If the situation eases over the next few weeks we will be entirely flexible in our advice and adapt accordingly. However, at present, we do feel that this is a sensible, preventative strategy until we know more about what we are dealing with and how best to mitigate against transmission. Thank you for your support in this.