Coronavirus / COVID-19 Policy

Fixation Academy of Performing Arts (FPA) recognises the importance of advanced planning in order to maintain services and limit the spread of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, within our setting.
COVID-19 is a viral infection similar to flu, spread from person to person by close contact. It typically causes fever and a dry cough, and in some cases may progress to viral pneumonia which cannot be treated by antibiotics. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

• Cough • Sore throat
• Fever • Tiredness
• Difficulty breathing

The initial symptoms are not dissimilar to other colds and flu-type illnesses, so the key question is whether the patient has also travelled to a high-risk area in the last two weeks or been in contact with a person who has.

Any child/YP/member who becomes ill with symptoms which could be COVID-19 whilst at FPA will be isolated from the other children/YP/members by at least two metres until the child/YP can be collected by their parent/carers. Within each hired building there is a designated quarantine room or a ventilated area. Most suspected cases turn out to be negative so FPA will remain open until advised otherwise by the local Health Protection Team, but parents/carers and staff/Volunteers will be informed, especially those in high-risk groups.

Should any children/young people/vulnerable adults, carers, volunteers or staff experience symptoms of COVID-19 they should stay away from FPA until all symptoms have passed, and they test negative for the virus.
If anyone has returned from a high-risk area, they will be asked to stay away from the setting for 14 days from their date of return.

Infection control
Like the common cold and other flu viruses, COVID-19 is spread by:
• Infected people passing the virus to others through large droplets when coughing, sneezing, or even talking within a close distance.
• Direct contact with an infected person: for example, if you shake or hold their hand, and then touch your own mouth, eyes or nose without first washing/sanitising your hands.
• Touching objects (e.g. door handles, light switches) that have previously been touched by an infected person, then touching your own mouth, eyes or nose without first washing/sanitising your hands. Viruses can survive longer on hard surfaces than on soft or absorbent surfaces.

We will limit the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 at FPA by:
• Sanitising Stations throughout hired venues
• One way systems implemented by hired venues
• Capping class numbers to ensure social distancing
• Sanitising stations will be available throughout the building
• Social distancing in classes
• Allocated seats (placed socially distanced in the room)
• Minimal personal items allowed inside the classroom
• Tailored session plans to ensure social distancing
• Staff training in certified COVID prevention
• Updated risk assessments and policies.
• Regular handwashing/ sanitising by all
• Minimising contact between our hands and mouth/nose
• Covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing; using a tissue when possible, and disposing of the tissue promptly and carefully (bag it and bin it)
• Cleaning hard surfaces (eg door handles, light-switches, tables, etc) with sanitizer frequently
• Encouraging all to abide by the guidance above
• Instructing staff/Volunteers to remain at home if they display any relevant symptoms or sending them home if they first display symptoms whilst at work.

At FPA we will promote infection control through the methods above, and in addition we will:
• Signage; Display posters and information to promote infection control
• Ensure that adequate supplies of cleaning materials are available within the Setting
• Dispose of waste promptly and hygienically
• Provide tissues and that there are suitable facilities for their disposal.
• Keep records for Track & Trace for 21 days

The latest advice is that closing individual settings is of limited benefit in stopping the spread of the disease. However, there may be some occasions when we will have to consider temporarily closing FPA because we have too few unaffected staff to run sessions safely.
FPA will also have to close if advised to do so by the local authority in the interest of Safeguarding the Children/YP/vulnerable adults in our care.
In the event of closure, the Directors of FPA will notify parents/carers as soon as possible. The Directors of FPA will also inform the relevant parties, e.g. Venue Hires, Partnership Organisations, other users of shared premises, etc. The Directors will also notify Public Health and the local council of the closure.

FPA may need to provide the NHS with our Track & Test forms. FPA will sign post to all relevant persons information about local testing centres.

Advance planning
In preparation for dealing with COVID-19, FPA will ensure that all contact details for staff/children/YP/volunteers/carers/parents are up to date.
We will prepare letters of notification for parents/carers/staff/volunteers, so that they can be distributed immediately if an outbreak occurs. We will do this via, email and text message.
We will endeavour to build a bank of relief or supply staff/volunteers who are able to provide cover should staffing/volunteers levels fall below the required legal minimums. Any relief staff will be DBS checked at the time of joining our team, so that they are legally able to work with children/young people/vulnerable adults should the situation arise.

FPA will regularly update its information regarding COVID-19, by checking the latest guidance from Public Health England and the Local Authority and will inform parents, carers and staff /volunteers of any changes to our emergency plans.
This policy must be read inline with Covid-19 risk assessment

Useful contacts: Health Protection Team (HPT): 0300 303 8537

This policy was adopted by: LD
Date: 02.09.2020
To be reviewed: 16.10.2020
Signed: L.Davitt

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017): Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements: Health [3.44].