RE: Managing Cases of Covid-19 in Schools
As you will be aware, there have been a number of changes to the measures in schools regarding the management of Covid-19. The most significant change has been in relation to a school’s response to positive Covid-19 cases. Currently where a pupil or member of staff has a positive PCR test, schools are no longer required to identify close contacts, send close contacts home or close 'bubbles/year groups'.
What will happen if someone in school tests positive?
Where a pupil or member of staff tests positive, it is now the responsibility of NHS Test & Trace to manage contact tracing, rather than schools. This means schools will no longer send messages or letters when a case arises.
Although the system has changed it is important to understand that over the school term there is the potential for Covid-19 cases (pupils and staff) to be identified within schools. There is also a likelihood that there will be asymptomatic people in school that are undetected, who could pass the virus on.
What should parents/carers do?
As school will no longer inform families of cases, it is essential that parents/carers regularly monitor their children's health for the main signs of Covid-19:
If your child becomes symptomatic, you must:
What happens if other household members have tested positive for Covid-19 but my school age child has not?
If a member of your household has tested positive for Covid-19, NHS Test and Trace will advise that your child should have a PCR test, and how to book this test. Your child should still attend school whilst awaiting the result of the PCR test. The test result should be reported to your child’s school.
You will be aware that people who live in the same household as someone with Covid-19 are at higher risk of developing Covid-19. There may be instances where, following public health advice, your child’s school asks that they do not attend school until the PCR test result is received.
You should not however arrange for your child to have a PCR test if they have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days. unless they develop any new symptoms of Covid-19. This is because it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection.
To attend school, children should be brought to and from school by an adult who does not have Covid-19, or is not required to isolate as a close contact of someone who has Covid-19.
The aim of the new measures is to support children to attend school with as little disruption as possible. If there are changes to the requirements from Government, we will inform you as soon as possible.
Director of Public Health