We continue to seek to minimise the risk of any COVID infection spreading within school and are maintaining year group bubbles to reduce the mixing of year groups in school and at break and lunch times. This will hopefully only be in the short term as we are all looking forward to getting everything back to how it was again very soon.
CHILDREN AS CLOSE CONTACTS
Children who are close contacts under the age of 18 years will no longer be required to self-isolate. They (as close contacts) will be advised by the NHS Test and Trace Service that they are a close contact of a positive case, and encouraged to get a PCR test, but can still come to school. If they refuse to get a PCR test, they can still come to school (unless they develop symptoms). If a test has been taken, they can be at school until the receive a positive result, at which point they must self-isolate.
CHILDREN WHO TEST POSITIVE
If any child tests positive using a LFD or PCR test, they still have to isolate. It just doesn’t close a bubble, and close-contacts under 18 years of age don’t need to isolate.
CHILDREN WHO SHOW SYMPTOMS
If a child shows symptoms at school, however mild, then parents will be contacted and the child will still be sent home. A PCR test must then be taken, and they must isolate until the result is known. Schools can refuse entry to a child who is showing symptoms if a parent insists on the child attending.
Those over 18 years of age who are double vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Again, they will be advised to get a PCR test. If they are not double-vaccinated, then they do need to self-isolate if they are considered a close contact by NHS Test and Trace. For anyone who tests positive over the age of 18, they have to isolate, irrespective of vaccination status.
LFD vs PCR Tests
Anyone (child or adult) with a positive LFD or PCR test must self-isolate. With a positive LFD test, a PCR test must then be taken. While awaiting the result, the individual should self-isolate. If the PCR is taken within 2 days of the positive LFD and comes back negative, it overrides the LFD test. If the PCR is taken after 2 days of the positive LFD, the self-isolation period must continue.
School will not be involved in contact tracing. NHS Test and Trace will manage this side of it. However, if there are multiple positive cases in the school or the local area, the school will work with PHE to make decisions about possible closure. We will have an Outbreak Management Plan in place as required. Our understanding is that this is for a significant number of cases, as opposed to just a few.