Infection Control Procedures and Policy

COVID-19 PROCEDURES AND OPERATIONS

Belmont Playcare continues to ensure that we provide the safest possible environment for all users during the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. We adhere to all statutory duties when following the guidance from:

Public Health Agency- Operational guidance on Managing positive covid-19 notifications in the school setting. 10th September 2021.

We are aware that there are important actions that staff, children, and parents/carers can take during the coronavirus outbreak to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Due to the nature of the transmission of the coronavirus, in our setting, avoiding the spread of it involves preventing:

  • 1.Direct transmission, e.g. when in close contact with those sneezing and coughing.

Belmont Playcare will employ a range of approaches, actions and controls, which when fully implemented, create a safer system where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

Consistent Groups Preschool And Playgroup

Pre-School and Playgroup session children will stay within a consistent group. It is acknowledged that children, particularly young children, in childcare settings cannot be expected to remain two meters or one meter apart from each other.

As far as possible distancing within the session will be maximized at snack times, outside and wherever possible based on physical capacity and activities provided.

Social distancing between the staff working within the session will be maintained as much as possible with each other and the children.

Brief transitory contact such as passing in the toilets or foyer is deemed low risk.

Staff will welcome the children at their sessions designated entrance on arrival and accompany them into the room to avoid congestion.

Staff should always remain in the same group during the session to minimize transition. If staff are required to cover other sessions then they are expected to wash hands and follow hygiene procedures.

Routines/transitions: Staggered snack times and the movement of children around the sessions to reduce large groups of children gathering.

Belmont Playcare’s preschool sessions will ensure that a high standard of cleaning down between sessions is carried out and the room doors and window opened.

Afterschool Mixed Groups

To mitigate risk playgroup staff will complete a clean down at the end of the session, resources cleaned packed and away. Playgroup will ensure there is good ventilation throughout the session.

Afterschool will be provided with time to set up the session and complete any further cleaning measures.

Good hygiene routines will be adhered to, Track and Trace forms are in place as well as stringent attendance sheets kept.

Drop off and Collection.

Parents and carers will be discouraged from gathering outside Belmont Playcare. The onus will be on parents/carers to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to at drop off/collection times. A queuing system will be in place when you are dropping off/collecting your child. 1 meter spacings will be marked outside the entrance door and outdoor play area entrances, parents must adhere to the signage.

NOTE: Northern Ireland- 16th August

In indoor settings such as restaurants, workplaces, retail outlets and shopping centers, social distancing of 1m (3ft) is still required.

Social distancing is not now required for any outdoor activities. However, it's recommended that people keep 1m from people not in their households, where possible.

Separate entrances for Preschool and Playgroup sessions are marked on the outdoor play area fences. These entrances will continue to be used as our way into Belmont Playcare.

Parents are asked not to enter the building unless absolutely necessary. Instead, a member of staff will meet you at the door and bring your child into the setting. Please understand that dropping off your child may take slightly longer than normal. Parents/carers should be adhering to social distancing guidelines when leaving the Playcare and school grounds.

At collection time, a queuing system will also operate. Parents/carers should queue as per the 1-meter spacing signage. A member of staff will bring your child to the door when you reach that point in the queue.

Track and Trace:

Guidance states a record should be retained of the people (children and the carers who drop them off and collect them) in each group on each day to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an episode of infection. Each day a form will be placed outside for adults to sign.

External Circulation

A “one way” system of travel is now in place for the whole Belmont Primary School site to ease congestion and travel around the school- Please follow the signs.

Parents MUST come through the P1 playground and walk around the school to the Playcare and exit out the main entrance (through green gates).

We ask collectors NOT TO WALK STRAIGHT through the playground when the school children are out playing. INSTEAD collectors should walk around the perimeter of the playground (keeping flush to walls and fences). Safeguarding of Belmont Primary school children is also paramount.

Ventilation

Windows will be open to encourage natural ventilation within the playrooms dependent on climates and for existing mechanical ventilation where desired to achieve thermal comfort.

Cleaning

Cleaning and disinfecting regularly touched objects and surfaces is in place and undertaken frequently and using our standard cleaning products.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons and gloves are used as necessary.

Clear procedures are in place for cleaning equipment and environment.

Immediate cleaning of spillages of blood and other bodily fluids and using correct PPE is in place.

Clear procedures on safe disposal of waste is in place.

Snack Time

Normal food/drink items will be offered to children daily. Break will be provided to children at a table where they can sit spaced apart from others. Staff will ask children which food items they would like, and place it on a plate for them, rather than the child using tongs etc to collect the food themselves. The skills which children usually develop during our break time routine will be addressed and challenged in other areas of the playroom throughout the year.

Items that come into contact with mouths such as cups and plates will not be shared between sessions.

Staff will wear an apron when preparing and serving snacks. It is not suggested that staff wear gloves but need to wash hands thoroughly throughout the preparation of food. There should only be a small quantity of snack prepared so no food is exposed and open.

Staff will wash any crockery and cutlery in kitchen areas with warm general-purpose detergent and dry thoroughly before being stored for re-use.

“Gloves can be used to minimise direct contact with food. However, gloves can become contaminated with bacteria in the same way as hands so are not a substitute for good personal hygiene and hand washing”

Toileting

We will follow appropriate guidance on the use of appropriate PPE where necessary, e.g. to assist a child with a toileting accident/intimate care dealing with a sick child.

Staff will support and encourage independence in toileting routines and good hand hygiene.

Belmont Playcare have 5 toilets and hand basins, the bathroom has been divided into two areas, so there is minimal contact between sessions.

Staff will check toilets half way through the session to clean toilets, basins, handles, doors, and soap dispensers.

Play

Belmont Playcare will be maximizing the potential for more outdoor learning opportunities. Evidence suggests that outdoor environments can limit transmission, as well as more easily allowing for appropriate social distancing between children and staff.

We will promote, support, and communicate the need for suitable outdoor clothing to enable children to be outdoors for longer periods in a range of weathers.

Staff will promoting outdoor play supporting the children with social distancing measures.

Playgroup and Preschool Session wet play areas:

Sand

Is now being offered indoors or outdoors.

Dry sand is used and sprayed after use and resources in the sand area are sterilised daily.

Children are to wash hands before and after use, a limited amount of children can play in the area and timer is used to limit time spent at the sand, so others can get a turn.

Preschool Playdough

Is offered on a Monday Wednesday and Friday. One batch is made on a Monday and a small amount is taken from its storage box and offered. Playdough used is discarded after daily use.

Children are to wash hands before and after use, the area is limited to 2 children and timer is used to limit time spent at the playdough.

Utensils are washed daily, and the area is monitored to support the children in hygiene routines.

Sensory Play

Is offered on a Tuesday and Thursday. Limited amounts of resources are offered. Playdough used is discarded after daily use.

Children are to wash hands before and after use, the area is limited to 2 children and timer is used to limited time spent at the sensory area.

Items and sensory items are sterilised after use.

Staff will continue to monitor this provision to ensure the children can safely and hygienically use these resources.

Resources will be allocated to the same groups/session where possible, rather than sharing across groups or classes.

To reduce transmission items from home should be limited/prevented from being brought into the Playcare. We recognise however that some children may require a transitional object and consideration will be given on how to safely manage this to ensure children are supported in their transition from home to the setting to feel reassured and comforted.

Sessions will remove unnecessary/surplus items from the classroom and other areas including soft toys, furnishings, items and materials that are hard to clean. Whilst ensuring the children still have adequate resources and furnishings to support quality experiences.

Individual Needs

Plans will be compiled to support children with individual needs an Individual Risk Assessment will be compiled in relation to supporting children with routines, new adjustments to the session and other COVID-19 measures.

Re-adjustment to the routines may prove more challenging for some children with individual needs than others, and consideration and planning in coordination with parents may be required as to best support children to settle back into the Playcare.

Music and Rhyme time

Singing can now take place indoors, children will be encouraged to sing quietly to reduce the amount of aerosols being produced. Windows and doors will be opened to ensure session is well ventilated.

Where possible we will maximise the use of the outdoor canopy for singing/rhyme time. Floor seating provided will include wipeable mats, spots, and discs.

Preschool Curriculum

Careful consideration will be given to how we tailor delivery of the curriculum to reduce the risk of the virus transmission.

Belmont Preschool will continue to plan for the delivery of remote learning in the event of local or wider closures, or if a class or group of pupils need to self-isolate.

Blended Learning is a term being used for home/Playcare learning:

“An approach to education whereby schools will combine classroom-based teaching and learning methods within school, with a range of remote learning in order to deliver the Northern Ireland Curriculum”.

Safeguarding

All planned activities should be risk assessed, considering current circumstances, and assessing how practice may need to be adapted.

It is important for children to feel secure and receive warmth and physical contact that is appropriate to their needs, in particular when they receive personal care, need comforting or reassurance.

Therefore, on occasions staff will need to be close to the children and support wellbeing by giving a hug in line with their needs and staff should feel confident to do so.

Attendance

Normal practice of completing daily registers will be maintained of staff, children and visitors in each session to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an episode of infection.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are in place to ensure that health and safety legislation and guidance is fully adhered to. Risk assessments are reviewed regularly as circumstances change.

Outside Agencies and Visitors

Belmont Playcare will risk assess and make sure all safety measures are in place for children, staff and visitors.

Visitors who may seek to attend:

ETI Inspector, Child Psychology. Independent Early Years Specialist, Health Visitor, RISE Team, Social Services Inspector Food Agency Inspector.

  • Attendance will be restricted to children and staff only.
  • All viewings are only available after the session ends and children have left for the day, they should closely follow the protective measures guidance and the number of attendances should be kept to a minimum of 1.

Outside agencies and Belmont Playcare will assess whether the professional needs to attend in person or if a virtual meeting is more appropriate. If they need to attend in person, they are to make an appointment and should closely follow the key protective measures and ensure they do not touch the resources, unless necessary. and attendees kept to 1 visitor only. Visitors MUST sign the visitors book leaving contact details. Facemasks or visors are required to be worn.

All visitors will be asked to complete a questionnaire and if the resulting answers indicate a concern re the possibility of them bringing COVID-19 19 into the setting they will not be permitted into the building. We may ask for a Lateral Flow test to be completed, Belmont Playcare can supply a kit to the professional, who should wait in their car a staff member will inform the visitor how to complete test.

Visits from maintenance services, window cleaners etc. will be permitted to attend for outside maintenance. In an emergency e.g. a broken boiler, children will be safely away from the area where the visitor is required to be.

Communication

Belmont Playcare will provide regular, timely and clear communication with parents via Seesaw, email, hard copies of information handed, Facebook out and telephone contact.

Meetings

Parental interviews can either be conducted outside, with social distancing in place or they will take place inside with all the appropriate measures.

It is critical that staff, parents, and visitors observes the following key behaviours whilst conducting meetings:

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Wear a face covering in indoors at Belmont Playcare at staff, parents, and other meetings.
  • SPACE - Stay 1 meters apart from each other wear face coverings and increase ventilation indoors.

Positive Behaviour Policy

Children can struggle with significant adjustments to their routines (e.g., schools and child care closures, social distancing, home confinement), which may interfere with their sense of structure, predictability, and security.

The “New norm” of working at Belmont Playcare has brought about further routines and safety measures for the children. Some children will need additional support to help them understand why the public health measures being recommended and are being followed. Belmont Playcare has in place methods to inform children, appropriate to their age, on how they can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:

Children wash their hands (now, in this place, and when we cough or sneeze).

Children are encouraged not to engage in horseplay, hugging, high fives.

Each session stays in their 'bubble' at all times.

Children are encouraged to tell the adults if they are feeling unwell.

Children are encouraged to catch it, bin it, and kill it!

In addition to keeping children physically safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important to care for their emotional health.

Belmont Playcare Preschool as part of the children’s week, participate in mindfulness sessions. Activities provided are fun yoga poses, breaths, mindfulness listening and learning how to express their emotions and take care of themselves when they are feeling difficult emotions.

Staff make themselves available for children to ask questions and talk about their concerns. Any concerns children voice regarding their emotional wellbeing and covid will be passed onto the parent to provide support at home also.

Handwashing

Good basic hygiene practices such as regular handwashing (practitioners and children). 

In addition to normal hand washing procedures, children and staff will wash their hands at approximately 30-minute intervals throughout the session. Staff members will support children to ensure they use soap and water or sanitiser and have thoroughly cleaned their hands. Hands will be dried using disposable paper towels.

Staff should be made aware of any allergies with hand sanitisers.

Staff, parents/carers, and children should avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose. Staff will ensure children are encouraged not to touch their face.

They should cover the mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze.

Tissues will be readily available throughout the setting and used tissues will be placed in a disposable rubbish bag and hands cleaned immediately with soap and water or hand sanitiser. If a tissue is not available for any reason, people should sneeze into the crook of their elbow. Again, staff will demonstrate this regularly to children, and regularly remind them of the importance of personal respiratory hygiene.

We will be promoting ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ government campaign, through posters and staff support.

Wet hands on surfaces transfer microorganisms more easily that dry hands!!

Staff will prompt the children to wash their hands for 20 seconds:

when they arrive at Belmont Playcare.

after outside breaks.

before meals and snack times.

after using the toilet.

after handling any body fluids, waste, or soiled items.

before and after handling foodstuffs or eating.

before and after giving medicines.

after messy play, indoors or outdoors.

after wiping their nose or mouth or tending to a cut or sore.

after handling wastebaskets or bin.

at the end of the day before they go home.

After playing with sand.

Before and after administering medicine

Belmont Playcare will ensure there is always access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used instead.

Cleaning

“Clean as you go”.

Belmont Playcare will promote and facilitate best infection-control practice, including the following:

Safely using cleaners and disinfectants and or steamer on surfaces and objects, this includes, wearing gloves; ensuring cleaners and disinfectants are used in a manner that does not endanger childcare workers or children at the setting.

After a child uses the toilet staff should support in encouraging good hand washing routines.

In the staff toilet, staff should put the lid down before flushing.

Belmont Playcare will ensure there is always extra cleaning of the toilets, taps, soap dispenser and door handles.

Belmont Playcare will provide suitable disposable wipes for staff to wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g. keyboards, desks, remote controls) before use.

Mop heads are detachable and will be replaced regularly, stored inverted to allow to dry. Mop buckets cleaned after use and stored upside down.

Belmont Playcare staff will use a steamer for resources and upholstered items (Sofa, seating, and cushions).

Staff will note on resources what was cleaned, when and by whom before storing away.

Staff will disinfect surfaces with the antibacterial cleaning products. Paying attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces.

Staff will wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection.

Spillages of body fluid, such as urine, vomit, faeces or blood, are cleaned up as quickly as possible. Staff should be encouraged to treat every spillage of body fluids or body waste with caution and as potentially infectious. Therefore, any intimate care or first aid, staff must wear PPE  and double bag any soiled items.

Staff will be made aware: Chlorine-based disinfectants should not be applied directly to acidic bodily fluids, such as urine or vomit, as potentially dangerous chlorine vapor may be released. Such spills should be cleaned up with paper towels and washed with warm water and a general-purpose detergent before being treated with a disinfectant solution. In all cases, staff will follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any disinfectant product they are using.

Mops WILL NEVER be used for cleaning up blood and body fluid.

Playing with toys or using equipment such as climbing apparatus and slides is an important part of the child’s day in an early years/childcare setting.However, these items can quickly become soiled or unhygienic and a child’s habit of putting toys in their mouth can lead to a situation where disease can be spread.Staff will ensure that toys and equipment are inspected and cleaned regularly throughout the working day.

Children and staff who are vulnerable in relation to COVID19

Staff and parents should continue to seek the latest information in relation to those considered to be vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.

Definitions of the vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable categories are available at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-definitions-clinicallyextremely-vulnerable-and-vulnerable. Where clinically vulnerable individuals are attending, dynamic risk assessments should be carried out in partnership with parents and arrangements should be made to enable appropriate physical distancing wherever possible.

STAFF PROCEDURES

THIS SECTION ALSO APPLIES TO ANY STUDENTS ON PLACEMENT AT BELMONT PLAYCARE

Travel on public transport – staff will need to wear a mask on any public transport.

Lateral Flow Testing Kits are available to staff who have consented to testing on a Tuesday and Thursday each week. A photo of the results must be sent to the coordinator who records results.It is up to the staff member to send through test results to NHS https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

If a staff member feels unwell they can take a lateral flow test at home using the kits provided. Results must be shown to the coordinator for recording.

Leader should consult daily with staff about their health and well-being (Have their circumstances changed which may affect their work).Any information should be brought to the attention of the coordinator immediately.

Current NHS guidance is that where staff and children are not symptomatic, then no personal protective equipment is required above and beyond normal good hygiene practices.Gloves, aprons masks and eye protection may however be required to support delivery of intimate care, first aid or for specific cleaning duties as normal. Staff WILL be supported if they wish to wear face coverings when in work.

Belmont Playcare staff simply need to follow the guidance on social distancing, handwashing and cleaning surfaces.

Staff should not bring pens and pencils from home from the setting and ensure personal items are kept to a minimum and cleaned regularly.

Other equipment which is shared e.g. phones and laptops should be sanitised before being handed over.

Shared rooms must be properly cleaned between cohorts.

Belmont Playcare will stress the importance to staff of staying home if they have a frequent cough, sneezing, fever, or difficulty breathing.

If a member of staff becomes unwell in work with covid symptoms they will be sent home immediately and advised to take PCR test.

In the event of a staff member having a positive test result.We will contact the PHAand follow their procedure for contacting close contacts.

Asymptomatic Carriers

Belmont Playcare have stringent measures in place to limit the potential spread of covid 19 through asymptomatic carriers. Additional to public health safety guidance, which mitigates risk, staff are encouraged to use Lateral Flow Testing Kits twice a week.

Should this test or others be made available to pupils through EA guidance etc in the near future, we will support the testing process being rolled out to all who are willing to participate (parental consent will be sought) in the effort to identify and isolate any asymptomatic carriers.

Vaccinated Team

All staff at Belmont Playcare have received two covid vaccinations.

Double-vaccinated people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, people are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.

Students

Students on placement may be asked to self-isolate (depending on their vaccination status), we will advise them to book PCR test and identify their close contacts.

Where staff are absent due to testing positive for covid-19 or isolating. Belmont playcare will verify with the Health and Social Care Trust if for a limited time ratios can be eased from 1 staff to 8 children to 1 staff to 10 children.

However, Belmont playcare realise this can impact the children’s and staffs wellbeing.The coordinator will assist in covering sessions as required and 1 staff member from the afternoon will be asked to cover morning and vice versa.

If the session leader is absent the deputy and assistant will assume leader and deputy roles for 10 days.

Where adults cannot keep 2-meter distance and interacting with other adults for over 15 minutes or more, face coverings should be worn.

Staff wishing to wear face coverings during contact time with the children are permitted to do so.

Belmont Playcare will regularly check (and share with any pregnant staff) the new www.ni-maternity.com website, which offers specific advice in relation to pregnancy and incorporates the latest COVID-19 advice for pregnant women.

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SYMPTOM PROCEDURE

CHILDREN should not attend if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.

Belmont Playcare would ask parents to complete a daily health check before coming into the playcare.

Covid 19stmptoms:

  • New continuous cough
  • A loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell
  • High Temperature at or above the threshold temperature of 37.8

Sessions can take temperatures after the children arrive using the infrared thermometer.

Up-to-date email addresses and home, work, and mobile phone numbers of parents and guardians of children at the Playcare so we can reach you at all times.

We ask parents/guardians to contact the coordinator or session leader if they, their child or any other family member with whom they live or have had contact has tested positive for COVID-19.

Children, parents, carers or any visitors such as suppliers are not to attend/visit the setting if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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If a child starts showing symptoms of Covid-19 while at Belmont Playcare, they should be collected as soon as possible by a parent/carer.

Children will await collection with adult supervision (adult MUST wear full PPE including visor) either in a separate room with closed door or in our outdoor play area. Appropriate adult supervision guidelines will be adhered to and adult will try to maintain a 2-meter distance however it may not be possible to maintain this.

Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, the child will be moved to an area of the room which is at least two meters away from others.

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, the middle toilet in the bathroom will be used and cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

If the child is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk, we will call 999.

If a member of staff has helped a child who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves.

They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell.

Cleaning with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.

Staff will wear disposable gloves, mask and aprons for cleaning.These should be double bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished.

If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), use the visor protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron

Close contacts of Covid 19

Definitions of Close Contacts in school settings as at August 2021

In the context of a case in a school, a close contact is anyone who has been close to a confirmed case of COVID-19 from 2 full days before the person was symptomatic to 10 days after the onset of symptoms (i.e. the infectious period) and fulfils any of the following:

lives in the same household

has been within one metre and had face-to-face contact (including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation)

skin-to-skin contact

been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)

has travelled in a small vehicle with the case

travelled in a large vehicle / plane near the case

An interaction through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen with the person who has COVID-19 is not usually considered to be a contact, as long as there has been no other contact such as those in the list above.

Close Contact Information

You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others.

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Adults and Staff at Belmont Playcare

If fully vaccinated staff who have have no covid symptoms, can continue to work at Belmont Playcare.

If staff have not had a positive PCR result in the last 90 days we advise that staff book a free PCR test 2 full days after they came into contact with the confirmed case (or as soon as possible if more than 2 days have elapsed) and book another one on Day 8.

If either test is positive staff should self-isolate for 10 days from the date the test was done.

If staff have had a positive PCR result in the last 90 days they can come into the playcare and do not need to be retested.

If unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or it is less than 14 days since their 2nd dose: staff should self-isolate and book a PCR test. However even if that test is negative, they should continue to self-isolate for the full 10 day period since their last contact with the case.

Playgroup and Preschool Close Contact Procedure As Stated In PHA Operations Guidance

Close contacts identified in nursery school pupils aged 4 and under who have not had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days and have no symptoms. Parents of the pupils on the contact list should be informed that their child is a close contact of a confirmed case and they should arrange a PCR test as soon as possible.

If a PCR test is taken and is negative, they can end their self-isolation and should arrange to take another PCR test eight days after the last known contact.

In this age group testing is voluntary and provided the child has no symptoms they do not need to self-isolate and can attend nursery even if they do not take a test.

However, we have a duty of care to ensure children are protected from harm and we strongly advise all close contacts are tested.

We also strongly advise families to think carefully about sending children into the playcare if there is a positive case within the household and again advise PCR test is completed.

If a setting has two children testing positive it may mean the session is closed for 10 days as this is classed as an outbreak, if testing is completed closure could be prevented.

The coordinator and staff continually risk asses this situation and may deem it necessary to close sessions or refuse children.

Afterschool Close Contact Procedure As Stated In PHA Operations Guidance

Close contacts who are pupils in any year from P1 to Year 14 who have not had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days and have no symptoms Parents of all those on the contact list should be informed by the school that their child is a close contact of a confirmed case. The pupil should be advised to self-isolate until they have taken a PCR test.

a) If the PCR test is positive they should self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or, if they have no symptoms, for 10 days from the date of testing. Their household should also self-isolate unless they meet the exemptions set out on NI Direct.

b) If the test is negative they can return to school with advice to take another test on Day 8.

If the child or young person who is a close contact develops symptoms at any time they should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test, even if the earlier PCR tests were negative. If the PCR tests is positive, this means they have the infection and they should self-isolate for 10 days, in line with advice for confirmed cases.

Afterschool Children who are close contacts but have already had a positive test result in the previous 90 days and have no new symptoms do not need to arrange a PCR test or self-isolate. This is because it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection due to residual virus fragments (which are not infectious). If well they can remain at school and attend the playcare, but they should be informed that they were a close contact and parents and guardians will receive notification from afterschool staff.

WIDER COMMUNITY- BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL

Belmont Playcare MUST consider the wider community and contact Belmont Primary school should a confirmed case have attended Belmont afterschool session. We again urge families to contact us if anyone in the household has tested positive or if the afterschool attender is identified as a close contact. The health and wellbeing of all the children is paramount.

WE ASK FAMILIES TO NOTIFY US OF TEST RESULTS WHETHER POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE.WE ASK THAT PARENTS EMAIL THROUGH TEST RESULTS OR SHOW STAFF RESULTS ON PHONE ON RETURN.

Belmont Playcare will contact the Public Health Agency and follow advice and guidance as to informing families.

Seasonal viruses will continue to be transmitted and may have same symptoms as covid.

Where the child or staff member who have temperature, continuous cough (possible symptoms of covid 19) and a negative PCR test. These children/staff need to stay at home until they have had a normal temperature for 2 days, unless they have been assessed physically or remotely by a GP and the GP has advised that :

a) the individual is not believed to have COVID-19 or any other infection that could be transmitted in the setting;

and

b) that the individual can return to the childcare setting.

In this case the provider may decide whether or not to admit the child in advance of the child having had a normal temperature for 2 days.

Deep Cleans

Belmont Playcare will follow the Public Health Agency recommendations and use disposable cloths or paper roll to wipe down all hard surfaces, chairs, door handles, grab rails, telephones, and bathroom fittings, and using disposable mop heads for the floors.

Shared areas, such as the foyer, and which are not visibly contaminated will be cleaned thoroughly as normal. Any cloths and mop heads used will be disposed of and put into waste bags.

Belmont Playcare will steam clean items such as upholstered furniture and foam seating/cushions.

Waste, including disposable cloths and tissues, will be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.

Waste

If a child or staff member has symptoms of covid-19 any waste MUST be double bagged, and guidance should be sought from Public Health Agency as contaminated waste should not be put in commercial waste bins. Waste should be stored for 72 hours and then binned or if child or staff tests negative.

Recognition of a case or outbreak

The requirement (and process) to notify the Public Health Agency, HSC Trust Early Years Team and EA Emergency helpline for covid 19, upon learning that anyone who has attended Belmont Playcare has tested positive for COVID-19.

The session leader or coordinator will contact the Public Health Agency (PHA).A clinical risk assessment should then be undertaken by the PHA duty officer.The PHA duty officer will advise us of what further action to take, and we will act accordingly.

It is important that potential clusters of cases are identified as soon as possible, so immediate steps can be taken to prevent spread.

Where a person at work (a worker) has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease to Riddor also.

Stop COVID NI APP

The Stop COVID NI Proximity App was released in July 2020 to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland, by anonymously contacting people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Belmont Playcare encourages staff and parents to download this free application to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For updates on covid guidance, vaccines, track and trace, booking a test, travel advice and staying safe please go to:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-...

Contact Info:

PHA COVID19 School Team by either completing the following online form https://hscforms.hscni.net/education-cell-onlinefo... or by calling 028 9536 0484.

The PHA phoneline is open during term-time Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am to 2pm. Outside term-time it is open 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays.

Education Authority emergency helpline for COVID-19 suspected or confirmed cases on 028 9041 8056 or at confirmed.covid19@eani.org.uk.

This helpline is open term-time Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays

This policy will be updated regularly and in line with the latest government guidelines.At all times the safety and well-being of the children and staff will be of paramount concern as we continue to provide a quality education for each child.