Wednesday 20 October 2021
Dear Parents, Carers and School Leaders
RE: Additional measures to reduce Suffolk’s COVID-19 transmission in education settings
Thank you for working with us to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in schools and other education settings. We know everyone is doing their best to manage outbreaks and support each other.
Unfortunately, it is necessary to implement additional measures due to the continued rise in Suffolk’s case rate, particularly in schools and other education settings.
The number of cases within children and young people aged 10-14 has increased by almost 15% and cases amongst 15-19 year olds has increased by 32% in the past week of data. This means that in October alone school children in Suffolk have lost 26,264 days of education due to positive cases of COVID-19.
With this in mind, we are asking education leaders to implement additional measures in education settings, including primary, secondary, further and higher education. Early years settings are under constant review and it is not necessary to include them at this time.
From November 1st 2021, Suffolk County Council Public Health is advising;
• Staff in education settings (specialist, primary, secondary, further and higher education) to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
• Students in all secondary, further and higher education settings to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom, unless exempt for medical reasons.
• Specialist, primary, secondary, further and higher education settings to restrict entry to their site to essential visitors only.
• Any visitors to wear a face covering while on-site, this includes adults collecting children in the playground.
These measures will be reviewed during the week commencing Monday 15 November 2021.
On October 6, we introduced a new sibling policy, which advised children and young people aged between 4 and 18 years to stay at home when a sibling they live with tests positive for COVID-19. This applies to schools with an outbreak of COVID-19 and is still in place.
We should all continue to take simple actions to reduce transmission;
• Staying at home when feeling unwell
• Washing hands regularly with soap
• Wearing face coverings when needed, including on public transport and in crowed indoor settings
• Maintaining a safe distance from others
• Meeting outside
Thank you for your continued support in helping to keep the people of Suffolk safe and well.
Director of Public Health
Director for Children and Young People’s Services