Key Rule! Only use LFD Tests when you don't have symptoms. PCR tests are for when you have symptoms!
Please ensure that you read the following NHS online guidance about:
- WHEN to self-isolate – click here
- HOW LONG to self-isolate – click here
- WHAT TEST RESULTS MEAN – click here
Self-isolation impacts the child and households members (including parents/carers and siblings), so please read it carefully! Remember, if a child or adult has a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of taste or smell, then the child/adult as well as their household must self-isolate immediately. Self-isolation lasts at least 10 days for the person with symptoms. For those in the household (including siblings) without symptoms, they must self-isolate for 14 days; if during those 14 days they develop symptoms, they must self-isolate for at least 10 days from that point. The links above clarify how these timings change if a positive or negative test result is received.
Please do not send a child in if they are showing symptoms. If they are showing symptoms, keep them and the household at home, self-isolate, and try to get a test. Keep the school updated via email/phone!
Clarification around Self-isolation, close contacts and positive cases from 16th August 2021
CHILDREN AS CLOSE CONTACTS
Children who are close contacts under the age of 18 years will no longer be required to self-isolate. They (as close contacts) will be advised by the NHS Test and Trace Service that they are a close contact of a positive case, and encouraged to get a PCR test, but can still come to school. If they refuse to get a PCR test, they can still come to school (unless they develop symptoms). If a test has been taken, they can be at school until the receive a positive result, at which point they must self-isolate.
CHILDREN WHO TEST POSITIVE
If any child tests positive using a LFD or PCR test, they still have to isolate. It just doesn’t close a bubble, and close-contacts under 18 years of age don’t need to isolate.
CHILDREN WHO SHOW SYMPTOMS
If a child shows symptoms at school, however mild, then parents will be contacted and the child will still be sent home. A PCR test must then be taken, and they must isolate until the result is known. Schools can refuse entry to a child who is showing symptoms if a parent insists on the child attending.
Those over 18 years of age who are double vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Again, they will be advised to get a PCR test. If they are not double-vaccinated, then they do need to self-isolate if they are considered a close contact by NHS Test and Trace. For anyone who tests positive over the age of 18, they have to isolate, irrespective of vaccination status.
LFD vs PCR Tests
Anyone (child or adult) with a positive LFD or PCR test must self-isolate. With a positive LFD test, a PCR test must then be taken. While awaiting the result, the individual should self-isolate. If the PCR is taken within 2 days of the positive LFD and comes back negative, it overrides the LFD test. If the PCR is taken after 2 days of the positive LFD, the self-isolation period must continue.
School will not be involved in contact tracing. NHS Test and Trace will manage this side of it. However, if there are multiple positive cases in the school or the local area, the school will work with PHE to make decisions about possible closure. We will have an Outbreak Management Plan in place as required. Our understanding is that this is for a significant number of cases, as opposed to just a few.