COVID-19 | Keeping Safe during the Summer Break

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's COVID Schools Programme Officer, Heather Cook, for the attention of all schools to share with families.

The Government has launched a new campaign to remind the public of the importance of continuing healthy behaviours to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone in England will be urged to continue letting fresh air into enclosed spaces, take up the offer of twice-weekly free testing, wash their hands and book both doses of their vaccine.

The campaign includes a new short film, narrated by TV doctor and practising GP, Dr Amir Khan:  


Changes to Contact Tracing Guidance for Schools – Update 23rd July


Dear Colleagues,


As you are aware with the recent government announcement, from Monday 19 July, the responsibility for contact tracing in schools has moved from schools to NHS Test and Trace. Despite this the legal requirement for close contacts of a positive case remains in place until 16 August (for under 18s and fully vaccinated adults). At a recent national meeting there was universal concern about how this will work in practice.


Whilst we have some time to resolve the issues before September, this does leave us in a position where there is no current way for close contacts to be identified and isolated, whilst they are still legally required to do so, without the support of schools for the remainder of this term.


At the East Berkshire Health Protection Board meeting this week, there was an agreement that all areas in Berkshire will ask their schools to continue to support with contact tracing until the end of term and for anyone who tests positive within 2 days of having last been in the setting. As such, I would like to request that you continue to notify us of any positive cases, as well as sending out the PHE template letters to close contacts, for anyone that tests positive. If you are able to support us with this over the summer this would be very much appreciated, particularly given the rapidly increasing infection rates in Slough.


Unfortunately the government has not yet published any guidance on the new test, trace and isolate rules (including the point about under 18s no longer being required to isolate after contact with a positive case from 16 August). Nor have they published the updated Contain Framework, upon which our current Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP) is based. As soon as both of these documents have been published, we will update our LOMP and within this we will create an appendix for a Schools Outbreak Management Plan and communicate to you.


We absolutely understand your frustration around this uncertainty. However, we are all in the same position and equally desperate for clarity. It is also worth noting that due to the fluid situation we are in that this position might change again, at which point we will contact you. I hope that we can all support each other through these challenging and unpredictable times.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


- Stuart Lines, Director of Public Health for East Berkshire