Important Covid 19 Information
COVID-19 Educational Settings Webinar
The South West Health Protection Team have set up free fortnightly COVID-19 early years and educational setting webinars for any early year or educational setting to attend.
This is an opportunity to hear about infection prevention and control, outbreak management, testing and national guidance as well as an opportunity to have general questions answered. If you would like to attend, the webinars will be run on selected dates that are listed on our Eventbrite page.
The Health Protection Team and the DfE helpline are prioritising the following:
- Single cases or outbreaks of any size in SEND settings
- Outbreaks of 2 or more in residential/boarding settings
- Large outbreaks, or outbreaks with additional complexity, in all other settings.
Please contact the DfE helpline, or follow your local process if you have not already done so.
Immediate actions for cases
- Please ensure anybody with symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolates immediately and book a test. If they test positive they must continue to self-isolate as a positive case. If they test negative, and have recovered, they no longer need to isolate. Note: If a suspected case tests negative for Covid-19, ensure they are fever free at least 24 hours and have recovered from acute symptoms before they return to your setting. Examples of acute symptoms with which children should not attend school/nursery include fever, muscle aches, hacking cough. Examples of symptoms with which children could attend school/ nursery include persistent runny nose, irritable cough (if COVID-19 positive, they must have completed the appropriate isolation period).
- Please ensure all cases who have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR or LFD) isolate and do not return to your setting until well (48 hours fever free without medication) and either:
a. 10 full days have passed, or
b. they have produced negative LFD tests on two consecutive days, with the first being no earlier than day 5. This is a change to national guidance and more information is available here.
- People who continue to feel unwell after 10 days should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. Please note that a cough or changes to taste and smell can last for weeks after an infection has gone and the continuation of these symptoms alone should not prevent someone from returning to your setting after their isolation period is completed. When calculating isolation periods, the day symptoms start (or the date of test if the person has no symptoms) is day 0.
NHS Test & Trace will make contact with the case (or a parent/carer) following a positive result to complete contact tracing. Close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace will be advised to self-isolate unless they are aged under 18 and six months or are fully vaccinated (meaning at least 2 weeks past their second dose of a MHRA approved vaccine). Close contacts who do not need to isolate will be strongly encouraged to test daily using LFDs for a period of 7 days. These tests should be taken in the morning BEFORE they attend your setting. If the test is positive they must isolate as a case. Children aged under 5 will not be asked to test and are not required to isolate. If a child under 5 lives in the same household as a positive case they will be advised to take a one off PCR test.
If tests are not available via your setting, they can be picked up at community pharmacies or ordered online.
Staff cases should engage directly with NHS Test and Trace and NHS Test and Trace will follow-up directly with contacts identified by staff cases to provide testing and isolation advice (and support available for this). However if there is a barrier to staff reporting other staff close contacts to NHS Test and Trace (for example they do not have their direct contact details) the setting can do this on their behalf by calling the Self Isolation Hub on 020 3743 6715. You will need the 8-digit NHS Test and Trace account ID (often referred to as the CTAS code) of the case, the dates of exposure and the direct contact details of the contacts you wish to add.
Please note that for close contacts who are still required to isolate (e.g. un, or partially vaccinated adults) the isolation period remains 10 days (regardless of negative LFD or PCR during this timeframe).
If a health worker within a childcare or education setting has been identified as a close contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 to those most vulnerable to infection. This advice does not apply to children’s social care: please see COVID-19: guidance for children’s social care services.
Helpful Resources and Guidance
DfE resources can be access via the DfE’s document sharing platforms for primary and early years, secondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.
Below are some resources that should be helpful to all settings:
- Posters on hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene
- Acute Respiratory Infections (including COVID-19)- checklist of what to do
- Flow chart summary of what to do for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks
Please also see links to useful guidance
- Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
There are a number of online resources on infection control and outbreak management.