COVID-19

Changes to Track and Trace for Schools

One of the key changes that will take place from 19 July is that education and childcare settings will no longer be asked to conduct routine contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts. 

NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts. 

This letter sets out in more detail below how that process will work and what you need to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

Please note that everyone in the United Kingdom with symptoms are now eligible for coronavirus tests.
 

Coronavirus has changed lots of things about family life. And we know that some parents and carers might be worried about how to manage stress and changes to their daily routines. It's important to remember that everyone copes with change and stress in different ways. Taking care of your mental health during lockdown.

Being a parent can be challenging in everyday situations. Now, more than ever, taking care of your mental health is important. Staying at home more or having to work during a difficult situation can put different pressures on everyone. And if you're struggling, it's okay to reach out for support from friends, families and organisations that are here to help.

The NSPCC has lots of really useful advice and support to help parents and carers.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/mental-health-parenting/

Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

a new continuous cough

a high temperature

a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you should self-isolate at home.

 

Main message as of Monday, 17th January 2022

The default self-isolation period continues to be 10 days, and you may only leave self-isolation early if you have taken 2 rapid lateral flow tests and do not have a temperature in line with guidance.

 

  • Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days following 2 negative LFD tests.
  • People self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature (They can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.)
  • Individuals who are still positive on their rapid lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had two consecutive negative tests taken on separate days.
  • The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. If an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on day 6 and day 7 to release from isolation.
  • It is essential that 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests are taken on consecutive days and reported (to NHS Test and Trace) before individuals return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10-day period.
  • Close contacts of positive cases who are not fully vaccinated still have to self - isolate for the full 10 days.
  • Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are strongly advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.
  • staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • reduce the spread of infection in your home: wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser; cover coughs and sneezes

 

If you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms:

  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
  • Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is not needed if you’re staying at home
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 onlinecoronavirus (COVID-19) service.
  • If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
  • If you develop new coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household) then you need to follow the same guidance on self-isolation again 

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What do I need to do if my child has ‘flu-like’ symptoms?

If a parent or child is ill and is worried about coronavirus they should contact NHS 111. You should not go to your doctors, health centre or pharmacy. The NHS and Public Health England will ascertain if the case is coronavirus or, as is most likely, seasonal cold or flu. Public Health England along with the county council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service will offer further advice to us as a school on what we need to do.

 

In the event that someone has been diagnosed with Coronavirus in school, can the school reveal who it is?

For reasons of patient confidentiality, we are not able to disclose who has contracted the virus. This is for the health and safety of the patient.

 

The local Public Health England Health Protection Team will contact school to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advice on any actions or precautions that should be taken. If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.


What action you can take?

  • Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.   
  • Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds  with soap and hot  water  
  • In addition to hand washing before eating,  and after  coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.  

 

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.