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KEEPING LEARNERS, STAFF AND THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY SAFE

On Monday 23 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced new measures in order to try and combat the spread of the Coronavirus across the United Kingdom. 

The new measures include:

  • All gatherings of more than two people in public are forbidden 
  • Tens of thousands of non-essential shops are ordered to close.
  • Communal play and exercise areas inside parks will also be shut down, but not parks themselves.
  • Places of worship such as churches and mosques must also shut, except to host funerals.
  • Travel on roads, trains and buses are also banned unless it’s essential to get to work.

All people in the UK will only be allowed to leave home from now onwards for four reasons:

  • Travel to work.
  • Shopping for basic necessities, but as infrequently as possible.
  • Taking one form of exercise a day, alone or with members of your household, such as walking, running or cycling.
  • Going to a medical appointment or providing care to a vulnerable person.

 

How can I stay up to date with advice?

The government and Public Health Wales is continuing to monitor the spread of coronavirus and take further action as needed. You can find the latest information and advice on coronavirus and the latest guidance for colleges, schools and other educational settings on:

The Department of Education has launched a new helpline for staff, students and parents of anyone in an education setting, including universities: 

 

Welsh Government guidance to educational settings about COVID-19

https://gov.wales/guidance-educational-settings-about-covid-19

 

Public Health Wales Guidance Novel Corona Virus (Covid 19) Guidance

https://phw.nhs.wales/what-to-do-if-you-have-symptoms-of-coronavirus.html

https://phw.nhs.wales/how-to-reduce-the-risk-of-catching-or-spreading-coronavirus.html

https://phw.nhs.wales/self-isolation-advice.html

 

COVID-19: travel guidance for the education sector

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector

How can I help to prevent the spread of coronavirus?  

Public Health Wales advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus via good hygiene. These include: 

These include: 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell 
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and do not attend work or school 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the bin, and then wash your hands immediately 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment 

What is The College Merthyr Tydfil doing to mitigate against the impact of the virus?

We are following all Public Health Wales advice and guidance and will ensure that we communicate regularly with our staff and learners, parents and carers and the general public via this website, our social media channels and through email and text messages to staff and learners.

The college’s Executive Team is meeting daily to ensure we have the most up-to-date information and that risk is continually assessed to enable us to update staff and learners and to take any appropriate action and precaution in order to protect our learners, staff and college community.

What if I’m feeling unwell?

As of 16/03/20, Government advice is that anyone feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms (defined as a fever of above 37.8C or a new continuous cough) should stay at home (self –isolate) for 7 days if you are living alone. If you are living in a household with others who are displaying symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Learners and staff should only contact 111 if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Learners and staff should follow our standard absence reporting procedures. All initial  absences will be recorded as a medical absence. We recognise that many GP surgeries are closed at the moment so we will not require staff or learners to send in a medical note immediately. 

INFORMATION ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

What can I do to help prevent the spread of the virus?

There are some simple things that you can do to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and look after yourself and those around you.  Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Frequently clean hands by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. You can see the correct way to clean your hands by clicking HERE.
  • Viruses love warm, moist environments so avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.

Further advice and guidance can be accessed using the following links:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019:

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The following symptoms may develop, after exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • A cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • High Temperature

 

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But these symptoms do not necessarily mean someone has the virus. They are similar to symptoms of colds, flu and other viruses. Unless staff or students have reason to believe they may have been exposed to the coronavirus, they should manage these symptoms as they usually would.

 

I’m concerned I may have coronavirus. What do I do?

As of 13/03/20, Welsh Government advice is that anyone feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms (defined as a fever of above 37.8C or a new continuous cough) should stay at home (self –isolate) for 7 days

Learners and staff should only contact 111 if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

If you are required to care for a dependant who is self-isolating or has the virus you should also discuss with your line manager if and how you can work from home.

If you are diagnosed with a positive test for coronavirus, email or phone the college. Public Health Wales will contact us separately to tell us what to do about any students or colleagues you have been in contact with.

What if I have an existing medical condition?

We understand you may be concerned if you feel you are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than others (for example if you have a specific health condition, or have vulnerable family members).

Public Health Wales defines underlying conditions as people with weakened immune systems and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. If you are worried, members of staff should speak to their GP in the first instance.

If you have any concerns, please speak to our Learner Support and Wellbeing Officers or call them on 01685 726198.

We will support you as much as possible, based on any specific advice you have received from medical professionals, as well as general public health guidance. You should continue to follow Public Health Wales advice about the precautionary measures you can take to avoid catching the virus such as hand-washing (also see the NHS advice page), and ensure you are up to date with any prescriptions for medicines you usually take.

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