Latest Covid Advice
At the end of last term the UK was at COVID alert level 3 and some asymptomatic testing remained in place. We are now at alert level 2 and all asymptomatic testing has been paused. Level 2 indicates COVID is still spreading but the number of infections is either stable or declining and the impact on health services is low which is welcome news.
We have moved away from COVID specific guidance for the public and COVID now falls under the generic guidance for respiratory infections here: People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
In general anyone with symptoms of a respiratory illness is advised to try and stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have a high temperature or they do not feel well enough to work or carry out their unusual activities until they no longer have a temperature or no longer feel unwell. Access to testing is now very much reduced and most people can no longer access free testing. It is not recommended that children or young people are tested for COVID unless directed to by a healthcare professional. Guidance is split into two parts, for those who have respiratory symptoms and have not tested and for those who do have a positive test result which may be as a result of private testing or testing under the advice of a healthcare professional.
Children and young people (aged 18 years and under) who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19 who have NOT taken a COVID test
- Respiratory infections are common in children and young people, particularly during the winter months. Symptoms can be caused by several respiratory infections including the common cold, COVID-19 and RSV.
- For most children and young people, these illnesses will not be serious, and they will soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids.
- Very few children and young people with respiratory infections become seriously unwell. This is also true for children and young people with long-term conditions. Some children under 2, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can be more seriously unwell from RSV.
- Attending education is hugely important for children and young people’s health and their future.
When children and young people with symptoms should stay at home and when they can return to education
- Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
- Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
- All children and young people with respiratory symptoms should be encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and/or sneezing and to wash their hands after using or disposing of tissues.
Children and young people aged 18 years and under who HAVE a positive COVID test result
- If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test, if they can. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
- Children and young people who usually go to school, college or childcare and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend as normal.
I hope this helps clarify the situation, please remember when counting the days, the day the test was taken is day 0. The link above also obtains easy to read information leaflets and translations that may support your communication with your school community.