COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a highly infectious virus that is spreading across the world. Earlier last year, the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic, which means that several countries are experiencing outbreaks.
In response to the virus, we have launched our response to keep our staff, service users and the local community safe.
This key to our: Safety First>Staff Safe>Community Safe ethos.
England Step 4 Update
On the 19th July 2021, England moved to Step 4 of the Government's "COVID-19 Response- Spring 2021 (Roadmap)". Most legal restrictions have been lifted in England. Find our more on GOV.UK
Despite this, restrictions remain in force across our company to reduce the spread.
Information regarding our response
It's lovely to see you, from a distance
The Kent Variant of COVID-19 spreads easier and quicker than before. We've enhanced our Social Distancing rules. All staff, service users and visitors are required to keep 2 meters away from each other at all times. This is to comply with the Government's Social Distancing Guidelines. There are signs and floor markers to help everyone keep apart. Some of our services may also take place outdoors to ensure a safe distance can be kept.
Making sure our offices are clean and tidy remains our top priority. In response to the pandemic, our offices are cleaned daily with a disinfectant. All areas are wiped before and after use, by everyone, every time. Our Clean Use Clean methodology supports this. This means that when staff arrive at heir desk they wipe the surfaces, use the area, then wipe after use. This reduces the risk that COVID-19 particles may be living on any surface.
We'd love to see you smile!
We love seeing everyone smile, but we've decided that face coverings still need to be worn in certain cases to protect each other. Despite changes in Government Guidance, face coverings remain required at all of our sites. If you're visiting our offices or attending a service, all people over 11 years old must wear a face covering unless exempt. In addition, our colleagues must still wear a face covering if they are visiting your home. You are not required to do so, but you may choose to.
From 12th April, anyone who is exempt from wearing a face covering must produce an exemption card upon request from our staff. This is backed in Government Guidance.
Please Be Kind
Please bear in mind that some people are exempt from wearing a face covering for medical reasons, this includes some of our staff! People may be exempt because:
• Wearing a Face Covering may cause them severe distress
• Wearing a Face Covering could negatively impact a health condition
• They may not be able to wear a Face Covering Consistently or Safely
Track & Trace
Anyone who attends our offices or a service is required to leave their contact details to help us perform contact tracing if a positive case is identified.
Our colleagues take part in twice weekly rapid testing to ensure they are not infectious. Our colleagues will have taken a
To stop the spread of the virus, Government Guidance says there are certain times people need to self-isolate because they are at risk of spreading the virus to those around them. Whilst we understand that self-isolating is frustrating, it will help protect those around you and the NHS. It is a legal requirement to self-isolate when required; you may be fined if you fail to do so. See below for what to do if you need to self-isolate.
If you have symptoms or test positive
If you have any coronavirus symptoms, you must by law self-isolate for 10 days and should book a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test from the NHS. You need to self-isolate from the day you developed symptoms or tested positive (whichever is first) and ten the next 10 full days.
If you develop symptoms or test positive within 3 days of attending our services or us visiting your home, you must tell us immediately to allow us to advise your contacts.
If you live with someone with symptoms or test positive
If you live with someone who has symptoms and has not yet been tested or has tested positive, you and your household need to self-isolate for 10 days. You may not need to self-isolate, see "Groups Exempt from Self-Isolation".
You are told to by NHS Test and Trace
If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace you are at risk of developing Coronavirus (COVID-19). You may be asked to self-isolate and take a test. You need to follow the advice you are given when you are contacted.
Groups Exempt from Self-Isolation
From the 16th August, some people do not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. You do not need to self-isolate if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace or someone you live with has tested positive if:
- You have had to doses of an MHRA Approved vaccine and two weeks have passed since your second dose
- You are under 18
- You cannot get the vaccine on medical grounds
- You are taking part in an approved vaccine trial
You do not need to self-isolate but must get a PCR Test as soon as possible to check if you have the virus. You only need to self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive.
Track and Trace
See below for how our Track and Trace System works.
To protect our community, we have set up our own contact tracing system to identify people in our community who are at risk of developing the virus and passing it on. Any person who accesses our services and our colleagues must provide their contact details to the Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) to enable contact tracing if someone tests positive.
We retain details for 21 days inline with NHS Test and Trace Guidance. If we identify you as a close contact of someone who who has told us they've tested positive, we'll call you from 03301 1334584 to let you know and provide the best advice to keep you safe. We'll also text and email you of we have an email address with the same advice.
If we call someone under 18, we'll ask to speak with an adult. We'll ask you to self-isolate inline with Government Guidance to protect others, we'll also let you know that we have to pass your details to NHS Test and Trace who will be in touch in the following days to provide advice.
From 16th August 2021
From 16th August 2021, Government Guidance changed to make certain groups exempt from having to self-isolate if they're a contact of someone who has tested positive. If you are:
- Under 18
- Are fully vaccinated
- Can't get the vaccine for medical reasons
- Are taking part in an approved vaccine trial
You do not need to self-isolate for 10 days if you're a contact of a positive case, instead you should get a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test from the NHS immediately and await the result, you do not need to self-isolate whilst you wait.
Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risk Assessment
Click below to view our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risk Assessment