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November 2020 update

As we go into a new national lockdown, we at Heathercombe are aware of the need for support in this challenging time, and we are pleased to share that we are currently still able to offer our space for charitable, support events at this time. We have been working to make sure we are Covid-safe.  Because of the guidelines, and as part of working safely, the amount of time groups can spend sharing and interacting together will be greatly restricted. Smaller groups of people, and an awareness of the safety guidelines are a must to ensure that we can continue offering our support.

At the moment, and from November 5th, it is possible to travel as long as the official guidelines are followed.  We ask, however, that those living in areas that have been placed in the Tier 3 (Very High Risk) do not travel outside of their local area and therefore should not come to High Heathercombe at this time.  At the moment of this writing, High Heathercombe was in an area designated as Tier 1 (Medium Risk).  We are frequently reviewing the government and our guidelines and updating our procedures and risk assessments where necessary.  If you are planning to come to an event, please make sure you contact the organisers to make sure that the event will take place.

High Heathercombe COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Guidelines

Date: 05.11.2020

The Hazard

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus that can invade a host via the respiratory route or via hand to eye/mouth/nose contact, causing the disease Covid-19.

People who appear healthy may be carrying and shedding the virus, which can then be passed on either directly or indirectly to others. This means we need to assume that anyone could be carrying the virus.

The Routes of Transmission: how the hazard can cause harm - the Risks

  • Direct contact to face - eyes, nose from droplets or aerosols spraying from an infected person onto another person who is in close contact.

  • Contamination via droplets from sneezing and coughing landing on surfaces and then transferring via hands on to eyes and nose and mouth. Other means of secretions getting on to surfaces could be from infected people touching their eyes, nose and mouth and then touching surfaces with contaminated hands.

  • Contaminated hands of infected people can transfer the virus directly to others (e.g. handshakes) or on to hand contact surfaces which can be picked up by other people's hands and transferred to their eye, nose or mouth.

  • Possible transmission from faeces to hands and then directly or indirectly to the body via hands and hand contact surface transfer.


The Main Controls
  • Social distancing in accordance with government guidance: keeping at least two metres away from people one does not live with, or one metre away with mitigation (wearing a face covering, moving outdoors or well ventilated indoors).

  • Hand washing and hand sanitiser use at key moments.

  • Not touching eyes, mouth or nose with contaminated fingers.

  • Disinfecting hand contact surfaces.


The Actions to be taken to Control the Risks

1.    Prior to Group Visit – The accommodation is prepared:

  • All unnecessary ornaments and furnishings are removed

  • Sanitisers and (where appropriate) soap dispensers, paper towels and disinfectant sprays are placed at the entrances and in the shower/toilet areas in the Main Building and Forest Room, and in all bedrooms, the kitchen and the Moorland Room in the Main Building

  • Signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing and the use of hand sanitisers are placed in the shower/toilet areas and on notice boards in the Main Building and Forest Room

  • ‘Changeover’ actions (see below) are checked and completed

  • Rooms that are not required for the Group visit are locked or their use prohibited by notices placed on doors

2.    Prior to Group Visit – The Group leader is advised that:

  • The Group must comply with the Controls outlined in this Risk Assessment

  • All Group members must bring and use their own bed linen and towels

  • All Group members must confirm whether they (or members of their household) are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable and that, immediately prior to their visit, they do not have Covid symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone with Covid symptoms


3.    On Group Arrival – Welcome & Induction when :

  • The Group leader hands over a list of Group members and their contact details (to be retained for 21 days)

  • Group members having the NHS Test & Trace app are to ‘check in’ using their smartphone and QR Code notice

  • Group members are reminded of the Main Controls and Actions to be taken during their stay, and their attention is drawn to the Covid notices displayed

4.    During Group Stay:

  • Extra care is to be taken of any Group members who are (or whose household includes people who are) clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable

  • Social distancing is to be maintained in accordance with government guidance

  • Windows are to be open for ventilation as much as is comfortable

  • Toilets and washbasins are to be disinfected after use

  • Showers are to be allocated to individual Group members. Where a shower is shared a system of ‘booking’ and disinfecting after use is to be followed

  • Group members are to avoid unduly raising their voices and to refrain from playing music at a volume that may encourage shouting


5.    On Group Departure:

  • Group members are to strip their beds and take away their linen and towels

6.    Changeovers:

  • 72 hours are to be left between Group departure and the commencement of cleaning

  • All rooms are to be ventilated with open windows before and during cleaning

  • The cleaner is to wear gloves, but other PPE is not recommended except when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of Covid

  • Cleaning is to include all items in the Checklist

  • All waste is to be bagged and disposed of in landfill

  • Sanitisers, soap dispensers and disinfectant sprays are to be replenished

  • Covid notices, including the Test & Trace QR Code notice, are to be checked

7.    Kitchen

  • Only the designated cook is to be allowed in the kitchen or housekeeper’s room

  • All crockery, glasses, cutlery and cooking and food preparation utensils and containers are to be washed using detergent and warm water and dried thoroughly using a separate tea towel


What to do if a Group Member displays symptoms of Covid

The main symptoms are:

  • A high temperature

  • A new, continuous cough

  • A loss or change to one’s sense of taste and/or smell


What to do if a Group Member displays symptoms of Covid

If a Group member displays any of these symptoms they should inform the Group leader who should inform a director. They and all other members of the Group should immediately return home if they reasonably can using private transport, and should self-isolate and, if appropriate, request a test. If the person showing symptoms requires medical advice about their symptoms they should call NHS111 online coronavirus service.

The cleaner should carry out a thorough cleaning, following the more rigorous guidance

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