Covid Update: Jan 17, 2022
The government have announced several changes already in 2022, so please read the information below carefully - do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
- PCR tests - these are the tests normally done at a drive-through testing centre, results are normally sent by text within 24 hours. These are for people WITH symptoms of covid-19, EVEN MILD SYMPTOMS. Children will need to isolate if they have symptoms and are waiting for the result of a PCR test.
- LFD Lateral Flow Device Tests - the tests done at home, twice a week, getting the results back in 15-30 mins. These are recommended for people WITHOUT symptoms. Many families are choosing to use them in this way as a precaution with primary aged children. Please note, a confirmatory PCR test is not currently required after a positive LFD.
In addition to twice weekly testing, LFD Tests are now recommended for the following:
- If your child has had close contact with a confirmed case of covid-19, they should take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.
- People isolating with a confirmed case of Covid-19 may be able to end their isolation early with 2 consecutive negative LFD tests, taken at least 24 hours apart, on days 5 and 6 of the isolation period. Please see the additional guidance below, ‘When to end self-isolation’
If possible, please ensure you have a good supply of LFD tests at home.
OTHER MEASURES IN SCHOOL
Since September 2021, the DfE have not recommended that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that practical, day to day, aspects of school life can go ahead without the need for extra staffing, avoiding any detrimental impact on the delivery of education.
However, the DfE have asked all schools to have contingency plans in place that would reduce mixing between different groups of staff and pupils. In our school, we have devised a ‘Green, Amber and Red’ contingency plan. This plan is progressive, allowing us to reduce mixing and manage rising cases of Covid-19 if and when they occur. This plan was used before Christmas when we saw an increase in local cases. Moving to Amber or Red is only done following consultation with health professionals at the DfE, in response to high numbers of confirmed cases.
We would ask all parents to ensure their child has access to a laptop, PC or tablet so they can access home learning if they are well enough during a period of self-isolation. It is very important that all children can access home learning, so please let us know if you have any difficulties accessing a device or the internet – we may be able to help. The government’s latest advice confirms that schools and families should be prepared for home learning in exceptional circumstances such as staff shortages.
When to end self-isolation period
If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms).
People who receive negative LFD results on day 5 and day 6 of their self-isolation period will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart.
If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 6. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion.
If both your LFD test results are negative, it is likely that you were not infectious at the time the tests were taken. To further reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others, if you end your self-isolation period before 10 full days you strongly recommend you follow the advice here about self-isolation.
Please remember that the LFD tests must be taken 24 hours apart, meaning, if your child returns to school on day 6 of self-isolation, you will need to administer the tests early, before school time on day 5 and day 6. Your child can return to school if both these tests are negative.
The document below has more detail about self-isolation.