From 16 August, the Government has said that people aged under 18 years and 6 months or who are fully vaccinated will no longer be legally required to isolate if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Instead, such people will be advised (but not legally required) to get a PCR test unless they have had a positive PCR test in the previous 90 days. This means that we will no longer be sending groups of children home to isolate if there is a case in school.
Close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace rather than the school. Contacts will only be traced where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. Children will no longer be required to self-isolate, if they are contacted as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test even if they do not have symptoms and have tested negative on a lateral flow test.
Regardless of age or vaccination status, anyone who develops any of the three main COVID-19 symptoms (see below) must get a PCR test as soon as possible and isolate until the result is available. People who get a positive PCR test must continue to isolate as usual.
What should I do if my child develops COVID-19 symptoms?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- new continuous cough and/or
- fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher)
- loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
If your child develops any of these symptoms, you must arrange for them to have a PCR test as soon as possible. A PCR test can be arranged via the NHS UK (www.nhs.uk) website or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access. We have postal tests available in school if required.
Your child should self-isolate immediately and they should not attend school.
Please contact the school by phone to inform us your child has COVID-19 symptoms, and you are awaiting a COVID-19 test.
What should I do if my child has COVID-19 confirmed by a PCR test?
Anyone with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test should self-isolate until the latest of:
- 10 days after the onset of their symptoms, or
- 10 days after their test day if they are asymptomatic
Self-isolation means your child should not go to school, attend any out of school activities or visit a friend’s house. They should not visit any public places, use public transport or go out to exercise. You should not have visitors into the home except for those providing essential care.
Please contact the school by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child has COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test. It is really important you let us know if your child has confirmed COVID-19 so we can monitor the number of children with COVID-19 across the school.
What should I do if my child is a contact of someone with COVID-19 confirmed by a PCR test?
If your child is aged under 18 years and 6 months and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell) they do not have to self-isolate as a contact of COVID-19.
They are advised to have a PCR test unless they have had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days.
As long as your child has no symptoms, there are not required to isolate while awaiting the result of their own PCR test.
What should I do if my child has a positive result on a lateral flow device test?
If your child has a positive result on a lateral flow device test, they should self-isolate immediately and you should arrange a PCR test as soon as possible.
Other members of the household do not need to self-isolate whilst you await the PCR test result if they do not have symptoms and are aged under 18 years and 6 months or are fully vaccinated.
Plans for COVID-19 testing in Secondary Schools
All secondary school pupils (year 7 and above) should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term.
Secondary school pupils should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed. By ensuing your child correctly carries out the lateral flow tests, it will be easier to spot asymptomatic spread amongst pupils. A positive Lateral Flow Test should always be followed up with a PCR test and the person testing should isolate until the results are back.
Accessing Covid-19 testing in Tameside
Symptomatic testing and testing for close contacts. PCR tests can be booked at any of the DHSC run sites that operate Monday – Sunday 8am – 8pm on the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
There are two main sites for PCR Testing in Tameside, these are:
- Darnton Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, SK15 1NH
- Beeley Street, Hyde, SK14 2TB
PCR tests for home delivery can also be ordered by calling 119. We have a supply of postal PCR tests available in school too. Please contact the office to request one.