Covid Update April 2022
Covid Update April 2022
This letter summarises the new guidance; reviews our local position on infection prevention and control principles; and describes the changes in our notification process.
Key changes in national public health guidance from 1 April 2022:
Testing. The end of free access to testing, both LFD (rapid testing without symptoms) and PCR (lab testing with symptoms). While some testing remains in place for health and care staff, it is unlikely this would apply to any pupils or staff across the educational sector, aside from the very clinically vulnerable. LFDs tests can be bought in pharmacies and supermarkets; however, it is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
Symptoms. The list of symptoms of COVID-19 (and other respiratory infections) has been expanded and now includes shortness of breath, unexplained tiredness, lack of energy, muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise, not wanting to eat, headache, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, diarrhoea, feeling or being sick, a continuous cough, high temperature, fever or chills, and loss or change in your sense of taste or smell. If pupils or staff members experience any of these symptoms, you should follow the advice below.
Children under 18 with symptoms. 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 or childcare setting. Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend i.e. their temperature does not need to be controlled by medication. If you are worried about a child, then you should seek medical help. If a child with symptoms comes into school, they should be sent home immediately.
Adults with symptoms. Adults who have respiratory symptoms (any listed above) and who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, should stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they no longer have a high temperature (if they had one) or until they no longer feel unwell. It is particularly important to avoid contact with vulnerable people at risk of becoming seriously unwell due to COVID-19 or respiratory infections if you have any symptoms. If a staff member with symptoms comes into school, they should be sent home immediately. If they can work from home and are fit to do so as their symptoms are mild, they should work from home; if they are not fit to work from home they must be reported as sick. If they cannot work from home, they must remain off work for at least five days.
Positive test results. All adults with a positive COVID-19 test result are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for a minimum of 5 days. Children and young people aged 18 and under who have a positive test result should stay at home for a minimum of 3 days. This advice is regardless of symptoms. After this period, children/staff should not return to the school until they feel well and do not have a high temperature. Staff/pupils with a positive test result who come into school before this period should be sent home immediately.
Contacts. Children and young people who usually go to school and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend as normal, as long as they are well. Parents should be vigilant for any symptoms and if a child develops these, they should be kept at home as per the above bullet points.
It is really important that anyone who feels unwell does not come to school – this will help to reduce the risk of transmission.