BG Covid-19 symptoms check
16th September 2020
Our response to children or staff with symptoms of COVID
I am writing to let you know that we have now had a number of children in school displaying some symptoms similar to that of COVID, particularly having a higher than normal temperature. It is very normal for schools to have children with these symptoms at any point of the school year with the onset of colds or other viral infections.
These pupils have stayed at home to self-isolate and we have requested that they book a test so that we can all be reassured that their symptoms are not COVID-related. We will continue to ask all children or staff with any symptoms of COVID to self-isolate and book a test (in line with national guidance issued by the Department for Education and the Local Authority), but we do not feel that it is helpful going forwards for us to inform the wider school community every time we have a BGPS child with a raised temperature.
If the child or member of staff has a negative test result
Where a child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to school immediately as long as they are well and all members of their household/support bubble can end their period of self-isolation. We will not be informing the wider school community about the results of negative tests.
If the child or member of staff has a positive test result
Please rest assured that if we have a positive test result in school and your child is affected, you will be notified immediately, whilst maintaining privacy of the individual. We will also notify Public Health England and the Local Authority who will work with us to assess the risk to the school community and inform us of the appropriate action we must take to safeguard pupils and staff in school. This will involve sending home their close contacts (the rest of their bubble) and advising them to self-isolate for 14 days. (The contact’s household/support bubble will not need to self-isolate unless the child/member of staff they live with subsequently develops symptoms.)
What to do if your child has symptoms
All children and staff should have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. We have been assured by the government that testing capacity is being increased. To book a test, visit https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or phone 119.
If your child, a household member or a member of your support bubble develops any of the following symptoms, your entire household must self-isolate immediately, you must notify the school and arrange a test. Whilst you await the result of the tests, your child must not attend school. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Please also see the “BGPS COVID Symptom-Check Flowchart” to help you to decide what action you need to take for COVID-related absence.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the steps that we can all take to minimise the risk of spreading infection. These simple measures are:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- follow social distancing guidance at the beginning and end of the school day, and out of school.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.