We would like to assure parents that the school is following the government’s advice closely with regard to this major public health issue. The local education authority has now set up a task force to support schools in their decision making and is in regular communication as the situation continues to develop on a day to day basis. The well-being of both the school community and of the community at large will always be our top priority. The primary source of information for anyone with health concerns is www.nhs.uk .
From 11th October 2021 there are NEW household contact guidance for schools. This guidance, set out by Public Health Cumbria will be reviewed every 2 week.
Parents of children aged 4 and under who are household contacts of a positive case should be asked to keep them at home for 5 days, starting from the onset of symptoms in the household contact who has tested positive (or test date if the positive case had no symptoms). They should only have a PCR test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
Children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18+6 months
Children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18+6 months (unless exempt – see below), who are household contacts of a positive case, should be advised to stay at home. Five days following the onset of symptoms in the household contact who has tested positive (or test date if the positive case had no symptoms), the close contact child should get a PCR test. If this is negative, they can return to the setting, but should isolate again immediately and get another test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 at a later date.
The groups exempt from this advice and able to continue to attend the setting when identified as a household contact of a positive case are:
Full school risk assessments are available from the school office, upon request. If you have any specific schooling concerns which you would like to discuss, please contact myself directly.
Mrs Michelle Clark
As is normal, with schools returning, the county has seen a surge in the prevalence of common colds. For clarity, the current guidance is, irrespective of whether it is preceded by common cold symptoms, if a child develops a high temperature or a cough it must be treated as a possible COVID-19 symptom, the child must isolate and get tested.
It is vital to keep everyone in our school safe that we are vigilant to the symptoms of COVID-19 and act quickly if anyone is displaying symptoms. The NHS provides a more detailed definition, which may be helpful:
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
If your child has any of these symptoms please do not send them into school, self-isolate the whole household and arrange testing as quickly as possible. As you might expect, there has been a recent increase in demand for testing. You can arrange testing via one of the following routes:
• Telephone – by dialling 119 if the family do not have access to the internet
You can apply for testing at any time of day but we have been advised that if you are struggling to get a suitable appointment to try first thing in the morning, or after 6pm at night (as this is generally when batches of testing availability are released). If you are still struggling to access testing for your child(ren), we may be able to book a test on your behalf through school. Please contact either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we may be able to make a referral on your behalf.
Any cough different/worse to what is recognised as ‘expected’ or ‘normal’ in a child’s asthma treatment plan (or based on the family’s knowledge of their condition) fitting the COVID-19 cough definition (a new, continuous cough, coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours) should be treated as suspected COVID-19, especially if accompanied by a high temperature.
So for asthmatic children:
If your child has been for a test, please send us a copy of the test results whether these are negative or positive ASAP as we may have to take very swift action in school.