If a pupil (or member of staff) in a school tests positive for Covid-19, they must immediately be sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. The school must then contact their local public health protection team, who advise on who else should be sent home.
Anyone who has been in close contact with the person who has tested positive will also be advised to self-isolate for 14 days from their last date of contact.
According to BBC News, close contact means:
- face-to-face contact for any length of time, within 1m (including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact)
- extended close contact (within 2m for more than 15 minutes)
- travelling in a small vehicle together
If pupils are unable to come into school due to self-isolating, schools are expected to provide a home-working plan for the duration of their isolation. The government were initially confident that closing an entire school would not generally be necessary, however there has been at least one school having to temporarily close due to an outbreak.
Inside schools, measures should be being taken to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus including hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems and staggered break times. Enhanced cleaning procedures have also been introduced as well as social distancing wherever possible. In England, if children also live in a local restrictions area, pupils from Year 7 and above are asked to wear face coverings indoors when not in class, such as in corridors.
If you are unsure as to what symptoms have the potential to be Covid-19, the The NHS says the main symptoms are:
- high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- the loss of, or change to, your sense of taste or smell
If a child or any members of their household shows these symptoms, they should self isolate for 14 days and get tested if possible. NHS Scotland informs that a a runny nose is more likely to be a symptom of a cold, and is not a reason to get tested for coronavirus.
According to BBC News, all schools in England have been provided with a small number of testing kits which can be offered to a pupil or staff member if exceptional circumstances mean they cannot get tested any other way. The Government states that these test kits should be given to an adult, or child’s parent or carer, who should carry out the test offsite.
Test Assurance Group (TAG) have developed an end to end testing system that works in a least fuss, user friendly and GDPR compliant manner. TAG have developed a market leading test process and protocol that enables employers to make decisions in real time around their return to work/school process.
For more information about TAG and what we do, please contact us today;
call +44 (0)330 124 4371