In relation to the recent ‘Public Information Awareness Campaign’ for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the HSCB wishes to draw attention to the Public Health Agency information available in relation to same, on the link https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus
Northern Ireland has full access to the NHS 111 Helpline service on coronavirus. Callers should press 1 when they are advised.
Please note that as the situation in relation to Coronavirus may be subject to frequent change the Public Health Agency regularly updates the information available on their website.
- Under DOH Minimum Standards 3 “Children’s Health and Wellbeing.” http://childcarepartnerships.hscni.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/early-years-standards-full-version-Updated-October-2018.pdf you are required to take appropriate steps to assess, manage and to inform the relevant government agency of possible sources of serious infections such as Coronavirus, which may affect children and their families, staff or visitors to your facility.
- You will have to do this in line with your own policies and procedures which you may need to review and amend. Any resulting action you take should take account of any specific advice you may need to seek, or have been given, from the Public Health Agency and/or Environmental Health.
- The Minimum Standards October 2018 at page 14 Footnote 5, references guidelines which the Public Health Agency have already produced on Infection Control – “Infection, Prevention and Control – Best Practice Advice for Nurseries and childcare settings.”
- If you are not already familiar with this document you should, download it from the following link https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/infection-prevention-and-control-best-practice-advice-nurseries-and-childcare-settings
- Please review it against your own policies and procedures governing “Infection, prevention and Control” and/or “Exclusion of Children from the setting.” You are also advised to review your equipment and resources to ensure they are sufficient for good hygiene and infection control.
- If your service is directly impacted by this infection, you should seek advice from the Public Health Agency in the first instance, following that you must inform your local HSC Trust Early Years Team to inform them, including the action you have taken, or are proposing to take to minimise or remove the risk to children, families and staff attending the facility. Please also inform your local Childcare Partnership Manager.
- Notification to the Early Years team should include sharing the information you are providing to parents of children attending your provision. If you are required to cease your service for any period of time the local Trust Early Years Team will need to engage in discussion with you about this and to inform Family Support NI which holds the public register for childcare.