Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 08/12/2022

Parent's Newsletter - Jan 2022

Date added: Thursday 13th January 2022
Latest updated: Wednesday 7th December 2022

 

Dear Parents & Carers,

Re: Changes to COVID - 19 Testing

 With so much in the media about changes to COVID - 19 test procedures and requirements on individuals and schools, I thought I would share with you information we have received from Devon County Council.  Please excuse the length of this letter; I am attempting to pre-emptively answer a lot of questions and I ask that you read this whole letter carefully.  Thank you!

"What are the key things that have changed?"

 Confirmatory PCR tests suspended from 11th Jan 2022

From Tuesday 11th January 2022, people in England without COVID-19 symptoms who receive a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result are required to self-isolate immediately, without having to take a confirmatory PCR test.  See : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmatory-pcr-tests-to-be-temporarily-suspended-for-positive-lateral-flow-test-results for further details.

 

This is a temporary measure while cases of coronavirus are so high across the UK. While case levels are high, the vast majority of people with positive lateral flow device results can be confident that they have coronavirus. 

 

Rapid LFD tests are for regular use by people who do not show any of the three main symptoms of having coronavirus - the high temperature, new and continuous coughing, or change to their usual sense of taste or smell.  They're to identify positive cases among people who would otherwise not know they've got it.   If you have any of those symptoms, you're to self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test, online here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test    

 

Anyone testing positive with a LFD should report their result on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result , and must self-isolate immediately.

 

"Are there any exceptions to this new change in testing and self-isolation?"

If you have a positive LFD test result, you should still also have a follow-up PCR test if: 

  • you also have COVID-19 symptoms
  • you wish to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme) - to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must have tested positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test or an assisted LFD test
  • you have received an email or letter from the NHS because of a health condition that means you may be suitable for new COVID-19 treatments - if this applies to you and you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, you should use the PCR test kit that was sent to you in the post for this purpose; if you have not received a PCR test kit you can arrange to have a PCR test
  • you are taking LFD tests as part of research or surveillance programmes, and the programme asks you to take a follow-up PCR test
  • you have a positive day two LFD test result after you arrive in England from outside the UK.

 

"What do I need to do if my LFD test is positive?"

You should stay at home and self-isolate if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus or if you have a positive LFD or PCR test result. See also: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

Your self-isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have symptoms, from when your positive LFD or PCR test was taken, whichever test was taken first. 

 

The self-isolation period lasts for 10 days, after which you can return to your normal routine if your symptoms have gone, or if you're just left with a cough or loss of sense of taste or smell (these symptoms can last a few weeks).   If you've still got a high temperature, or still feel unwell after 10 days, stay at home and seek medical advice. 

 

"Can I end my self-isolation period earlier than 10 days?"

You can end your self-isolation period before the end of the 10 negative days, if you get a negative LFD test from six days after the day your symptoms started, and another LFD test on the following day.   See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

The second LFD test should be taken at least 24 hours later.   If both test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative LFD test result. 

 

"Who do I need to report my LFD/PCR results to now?"

When you take a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) COVID-19 test, always remember to report the result via the government website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and please let the school know your result if you have a positive LFD or PCR test.

 

Report the result every time you use a LFD test, as soon as possible after you get the result.

If you are taking daily LFD tests because you are a contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should report your result every day.

 

You cannot report a result after more than 24 hours and you can only report one result at a time.

 

"Do I need to test my child(ren) if I need to take a LFD or PCR?"

Yes, if you have had close-contact with anyone who has had a positive LFD/PCR test, or if someone in your household has tested positive, please ensure that you help your child to complete daily lateral flow tests for 7 days and inform school of your situation


We appreciate the LFD test kits are in short supply and difficult to obtain from pharmacies at this time.  Vranch House may be able to supply a home test kit, so please contact Reception to request an LFD test kit if you need to.

 

"What will happen if a child or member of staff at school test positive?"

As stated previously, all Vranch House staff continue to take at-least twice weekly LFD tests; if any staff or children test positive, we will immediately test all staff within the child's class team.

With your permission we are happy to conduct an LFD test with your child with the immediate testing of staff within a class group.  Please complete the form below and return it to your child's class teacher.

No pupils will be tested without prior consent being received either by return of the form below, or by telephone call in the event of a positive test occurring in school.

Thank you in advance for your support, co-operation and ongoing patience in the ongoing national response to this virus.

Yours faithfully

Ian Norton

Head of Education