New Term, New Updates – Covid 04/01/2022

The Start of Term - 2022 - COVID updates

LATEST UPDATE: 6/1/22

Face Coverings In College

We announced earlier in the week some updates in relation to keeping safe within College. The Government has since released new guidance and we are also able to provide further details on Covid-19 and face coverings.

Face coverings in colleges 

Government guidance released this week recommends that face coverings are to be worn by students within classrooms unless you are exempt. This means that you are now expected to wear a face covering at all times within College buildings, including in classrooms.

If you are taking part in a sports lesson or physical activity and wearing a face covering would impact on your ability to take part, this rule does not apply. However, you must put your face covering back on once the activity is complete.

You will be expected to provide your own face coverings, please remember to bring them with you.

 Exemptions

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering for any reason, the following should please be provided:

Students aged 16-18 – a parent’s letter to advise why you are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Students aged 18+ – please notify reception/Student Services with the reason for exemption.

Temporary suspension of confirmatory PCR tests

From Tuesday 11 January in England, people who are asymptomatic and receive a positive Lateral Flow test result will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while Covid-19 rates remain high across the UK. The advice is that the vast majority of people with a positive Lateral Flow result can be confident that they have Covid-19.

When you need to get a PCR test

If you develop one of the three main Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough, loss of smell or taste) you should stay at home, self-isolate and take a PCR test. You must self-isolate if you get a positive PCR test result, even if you have had a recent negative Lateral Flow test – these rules have not changed.

It is really important you do not attend campus after receiving a positive Lateral Flow or PCR test.

The full guidance can be found here.

Self-testing

You should be self-testing at home twice-weekly in line with government guidelines. Lateral Flow test kits can be collected from Kidderminster College reception at Market Street.

It is really important that you let us know you have taken your test and the result. You can do this by simply completing this form. You must also report your test to the NHS – this can be done here.

If you have recently tested positive for Covid-19, you should resume twice-weekly Lateral Flow testing once you have completed your period of isolation.

UPDATE: 4/1/22

Lateral Flow Tests

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to college for the new term from tomorrow. All lessons and any exams scheduled in January will be going ahead as planned.

All students are reminded to take a Lateral Flow test at home this evening (Tuesday 4th January) or tomorrow morningbefore returning to college.

Please ensure you receive a negative result before attending campus. Self-testing at home should then continue twice-weekly in line with government guidelines. Lateral Flow test kits can be collected from reception at Market Street.

It is really important that you let us know you have taken your test and the result. You can do this by simply completingthis form. You must also report your test to the NHS – this can be donehere. 

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for Covid-19, you should resume twice-weekly Lateral Flow testing once you have completed your period of isolation.

Face Coverings In College

When used correctly, wearing a face covering reduces the spread of coronavirus droplets, helping to protect the College community.

Government guidance released on 2 January 2022 recommends that face masks are to be worn by students within classrooms unless you are exempt. This means that you are now expected to wear a face mask at all times within College buildings, including in classrooms.

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering for any reason, you must provide Evidence of Exemption. Adults aged 18 and over should provide a medical note which clarifies why the exemption is required. If you are under 18, a letter from your parent or guardian would also be accepted. All evidence of exemption should be given to your Personal Tutor.

If you are taking part in a sports lesson or physical activity and wearing a face covering would impact on your ability to take part, this rule does not apply. However, you must put your face covering back on once the activity is complete.

You will be expected to provide your own face coverings, please remember to bring them with you. 

The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January when regulations are reviewed by the Government.

Ventilation

We make sure there’s an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of our colleges wherever possible without being too cold, however there will be occasions where the temperature will drop lower than what we are used to. Therefore, you may wish to consider wearing extra layers or warmer clothing throughout the winter period.

Changes to Isolation Period

New guidance from the government enables the 10-day self-isolation period for people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) to be reduced to 7 days, if you test negative on lateral flow tests.

People who receive negative lateral flow results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Close Contact Testing

People who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for 7 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Unvaccinated adults are not eligible for this new daily testing policy, they must self-isolate for 10 days if they are a contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 – Omicron or not – unless eligible for an existing workplace daily contact testing.