Schools: Cumbria Public Health - DfE helpline guidance

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New DfE helpline or local Cumbria arrangements?

Thursday 17 September 2020

Following the DfE announcing the launch of a new COVID-19 helpline for schools we are being asked how this affects the local Cumbrian guidance in terms of queries and notification of positive cases.

We recommend using the local contact options wherever possible for the following reasons:

  • Cumbria County Council Call Centre can make a referral for school staff and pupils to access local testing (when numerous attempts to book via the national testing system are not successful). The national call centre will not be aware of this local testing option.
  •  Notifying positive cases to Cumbria County Council Call Centre will ensure incidents and outbreaks are immediately notified to the Cumbria Education Outbreak Control Team. This in turn ensures settings are allocated support from local Environmental Health Teams from District Councils. The national call centre will advise schools and other educational settings that they have to manage individual cases of COVID-19 themselves.
  • When you send queries to the EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk email account, a member of the public health team at Cumbria County Council will provide a response. These officers are aware of the local support described above, will have a good understanding of any local context to your query (e.g. is your school in an area where there are additional restrictions in place due to an incident or outbreak?) and will be aware of actions and discussions taking place at the Cumbria Education Outbreak Control Team meetings. The national call centre team can deal with general queries, but will not have this enhanced local understanding.

 So please continue to use the local contact routes where possible.

The following summary may be useful:

 

 

Cumbria County Council Email address for COVID-19 queries:

EducationIPC@

cumbria.gov.uk

 

Cumbria County Council COVID-19 Call Centre

0800 783 1968

National DfE Helpline

0800 046 8687

Opening times

Monitored Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm

Mon–Fri: 9am-5pm

Sat/Sun: 10am-2pm

Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm

Sat/Sun: 10am-4pm

Able to deal with generic queries

YES

 

YES

YES

Able to deal with complex queries

YES

NO

NO

Report a positive case

NO

YES

YES

Directly linked to Cumbria Education Outbreak Control Team

YES

YES

NO

Refer staff/pupils to additional local testing

NO

YES

NO

Trigger local support for settings with one case

YES

YES

NO