To help reassure parents and carers who are concerned about what will happen if a pupil or student becomes unwell with COVID-19 at a school or college, Sefton Council has produced a new, easy-to-follow-chart, which maps the process.
It explains that if a pupil is ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell – they must stay away from school or college.
Parents and cares should inform the school or college and book an appointment for a coronavirus test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
The child should isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms start and other members of the household including any brother and sisters should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptoms began.
If the child is not showing coronavirus symptoms, parents and carers should follow the normal sickness procedure for the school or college.
Positive test result
The chart explains that if the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a positive test result, they must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days and their school or college should be informed immediately. After the 10 days are complete, if their symptoms are only the cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, they can go back. If they still have a high temperature, they should continue self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the 14 days.
Negative test result
If the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a negative test result, they can return to school or college and stop self-isolating when they are well and free from symptoms. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating too.
Becoming unwell while at school or college
If a pupil becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms at school or college, they will be sent home and should follow the ‘stay at home’ guidance for households with possible or confirmed ‘coronavirus infection’ along with other with members of their household.
While the pupil is awaiting collection, actions to improve ventilation and minimise contact will be taken and once they have been collected, staff will follow hand hygiene processes and will clean any affected area.
The school or college setting will inform parents, carers and pupils if additional actions are required.
When a pupil or staff member has tested positive, parents and carers will be informed about any actions required.
Testing positive after attending school or college
If a pupil or member of staff tests positive after attending school or college, parents and carers will be told if any additional actions are required.
If an outbreak is confirmed in a school, Public Health England advice will be followed. This may include larger numbers of pupils and staff members having to self-isolate.
Anyone who is contacted by Public Health England as a contact of a case, must self-isolate for 14 days even if receive a negative test result.