COVID-19 FAQs September 2021 - Close contact, Isolating and Home testing
Since August 16th the guidance for having to isolate if you have been identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 has changed.
The following information will assist you in understanding who may need to self-isolate.
National Guidance States:
If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:
- you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
- you're under 18 years, 6 months old
- you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age in order to break onward chains of transmission. Meanwhile anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.
Schools are required to have updated their risk assessment and create an Outbreak Management Plan to revert to if advised by Public Health England due to a significant increase in positive cases. Please see the WCA website.
We hope to avoid any outbreaks and ask families to support us in the approaches that we put in place. Please read this guide carefully.
If my child has symptoms, can they come to school?
No. They should remain at home. The child with symptoms should get a PCR test. If positive, they will need to self-isolate for a full 10 days. If negative and they are well, they can then return to school. It would help the smooth and safe running of the school if school know to expect a child back following a negative test.
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If someone else in the household has symptoms, can my child come to school?
Yes, the child can continue to attend school if they have no symptoms. The person with symptoms should get a test and should self-isolate while they wait for the result.
If someone in the household tests positive, can my child come to school?
Government guidance states that children under 18years and 6 months do not have to isolate if they are contacts of someone who has tested positive. It would support safety in school if such contacts were to have a PCR test to check whether they test negative. School would be supportive of any wish to remain at home for a short time until the PCR result is returned.
If my child is identified as a close contact from the community, can they come to school?
Yes, if they do not have symptoms. The child should get a PCR test straight away. Although they can continue coming to school, parents may prefer to keep the child off until the PCR result comes back.
If someone in the class has symptoms, what happens?
The symptomatic child will be sent home as soon as possible, and must get a PCR test and self-isolate while waiting for the results. The other children in the class will continue to attend school.
If someone in the class tests positive, what happens?
That child will self-isolate for 10 days and the family should receive a call from NHS test and trace.
Schools will no longer be identifying students who are close contacts of positive cases. This will be carried out by NHS Test and Trace.
From NHS Guidance
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible. Children aged 4 and under will not be advised to take a test unless the positive case was someone in their own household.
Does my child need to take regular lateral flow tests?
These are voluntary, however, it is advised that students should continue to carry out twice weekly lateral flow tests at home (Wednesday and Sunday) until the end of September when this will be reviewed.
If a lateral flow test shows a positive reading, your child should not come into school. A PCR test should be carried out to confirm the positive result. If the second test returns as negative, your child can return to school.
Please inform the school as soon as possible if your child has a positive lateral flow or PCR test.
What happens if lots of children at school tests positive?
If this happens, we will involve our local health protection team and they will advise us if any additional action is required, such as implementing elements of our outbreak management plan. This may include use of face coverings for adults, wider testing or targeted closures of certain groups or classes.