New advice from DfE on self-isolation period for confirmed cases of Covid-19 January 2022
The DfE Information email (4th Jan) has updated the guidance about when individuals can return to school.
This now says:
“Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 5 and day 6 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFT (Lateral flow test) testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education or childcare setting from day 6.”
Cheshire East Public Health have therefore amended the advice to schools re. positive cases in pupils to align with this, recommending that schools gain assurance from the child or parent/carer that:
This also applies to children under 5, with LFT testing at parental or guardian discretion.
What are the symptoms I need to look out for?
According to the NHS website: “Symptoms of coronavirus in children, the main symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
” What is a new continuous cough?
As the weather is colder, we will start to see more coughs and colds in school. This can then be confusing about deciding when a cough is possible symptom of coronavirus. The NHS guidance states that “a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”. If you are still unsure,
please go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ for further advice.
If parents/carers call the school to inform us that they are keeping children off because of a continuous cough which fits the criteria above, then we have to trust your judgement and that you have sought appropriate advice. If the advice is to get a test, then you must get a test and inform the school. You cannot then change your mind if your child stops coughing and send them back to school without having a test. If we see any children coughing continuously in school in line with NHS definition, we will seek NHS advice and if necessary send them home and ask you get a test for them. You must then get a test. We appreciate that most of us are not medical professionals, however, if we all follow the NHS advice, we will be able to keep each other safe.
What should I do if my child has symptoms BEFORE arriving at school?
If your child has any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
1.You must get a test to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible.
2.You must stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your child’s test result – only leave your home to have a test.
My child has had the test, what should I do now?
Please keep everyone within the household at home UNTIL you have a negative result. Please keep the school informed as to whether the result is positive or negative. Test Results If the test results are POSITIVE: If the test result is positive, then you need to contact the school as soon as possible. Isolate the person with symptoms for 10 days.
What happens if the test result is negative?
If the result is negative, then if your child is well enough and no longer ill, they can come straight back to school without completing the full 10 days self-isolation.
Please click here to see further NHS advice.