Letter from Director of Public Health
I am writing to you as your local Director of Public Health to let you know what will happen if someone at your child’s school tests positive to Covid-19 and what you and your household would be required to do.
Since the return to school we have seen a very small number of schools affected by positive cases of Covid-19. This has meant in some instances, a class or a year group bubble being sent home and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Before re-opening, we worked with schools to ensure they had measures in place so they could manage any cases in the best possible way, to reduce disruption for the whole school. These measures are now coming into play.
If someone at your child’s school tests positive for Covid-19, the local authority and Public Health England will work with your child’s school to risk assess who else should be advised to self-isolate. Children and adults should only get tested if they have symptoms. School lessons for the rest of the pupils will carry on as normal.
We know that as a parent you will want peace of mind if your child’s class or bubble has been sent home, but please only book a test if your child has symptoms. At the moment, we have been told there is a shortage of laboratory capacity, which means Covid-19 tests need to be prioritised for people with symptoms. If you book a test without symptoms, you could be taking a slot from someone who could genuinely have the virus.
If your child does have symptoms, has a test and it shows as positive, they will be required to self-isolate and you will be contacted by the NHS test and trace system team to find out who else they have been in recent contact with. If a pupil (including your child) or staff member has been in contact with a person who has Covid-19, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days to help prevent the virus spreading further. If your child is sent home, they will continue with their studies online - if they are able to do so.
If your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19 (a temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of/change to taste or smell), do not send your child to school. Contact the school and order a test as soon as possible. To order a test, please call NHS 119 or book online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
If a child or member of staff develops symptoms at school, they will be sent home with advice about what to do.
Anyone who has symptoms or has tested positive will need to self-isolate for at least 10 days, and the rest of the household for 14 days, in line with the latest stay at home guidance.
If the test results are negative, your household can usually leave self-isolation and your child can return to school, but only if they're no longer unwell and no one in your household has been traced as being in contact with someone who has tested positive.
Director of Public Health