Information for the start of term – January 2022
Report a POSITIVE home test here: Reporting a POSITIVE Covid Test Result for a Student
A survey will be sent out every two weeks to report negative and void results – you no longer need to report each negative test separately.
Home testing instructions : COVID-19 rapid lateral flow home test kit instructions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Any questions on the above, please contact the school on: 0114 2302536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction of daily testing for contacts of COVID-19
The following are the recent changes to national guidance for those identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case.
From Tuesday 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 is being introduced (including until the end of this term). All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Daily testing by close contacts will help to slow the spread of COVID-19, help protect education settings by reducing transmission and will also help keep pupils in face-to-face education.
Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact or following exposure to a confirmed positive COVID case, all eligible staff, pupils and students should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the Online Reporting System and to their school. If they test negative, they can continue to attend school. Outside of school, they should continue to follow the advice set out in the Sunday 12 December press release. This approach should also be adopted over the winter break and on return in January.
If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive or they start to develop symptoms.
At any time if anyone starts to develop symptoms they should isolate and take a PCR test (even if they have already recently taken a PCR test or their LFD is negative).
Children under five years old do not need to take part in daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 and do not need to isolate. Anyone over the age of 18 years and 6 months who is not vaccinated, must isolate in line with government guidelines if they are a close contact of a positive case.
For students with SEND who struggle to or are unable to self-swab daily for 7 days, settings should work with students and their families to agree an appropriate testing route, such as assisted swabbing. Information on further support measures will be provided.
Finally, it is important to continue regular twice weekly, at-home testing, for all education and childcare workforce and all students of secondary age and above.
What has changed?
- Contacts participating in daily testing for contacts of Covid-19 are asked to take a LFD test for 7 consecutive days (or up until the end of the 10-day self-isolation period, if sooner).
- Contacts should use any unused stocks of LFDs that they have at home. Further supplies can be obtained from pharmacies, community testing sites, and through gov.uk LFD reporting system or by calling 119.
- Contacts should self-isolate immediately if any of their LFD tests gives a positive result, or if they develop symptoms, and order a confirmatory PCR test.
- There are no changes to the rules for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated or exempt. They must isolate for 10 days from the contact with the positive case.
Can children participate in Daily LFD testing?
- With parental consent, children aged 5 and over can participate in daily testing for contacts of COVID-19
- Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 is available to children aged 5 and over. It is strongly encouraged for 12-18 year olds but left to the discretion of parents/guardians for under 12s
Are Omicron contacts treated differently to other contacts?
No, all fully vaccinated contacts will be exempt from isolation and advised to undertake daily testing for contacts of Covid-19. This also applies to contacts of suspected or confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
All close contacts who are not fully vaccinated, including close contacts of suspected or confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, are required to self-isolate for 10 full days from their contact with the positive case.
What is the definition of fully vaccinated?
‘Fully vaccinated’ is defined as having received full course (for adults: 18 years and 6 months this means 2 vaccinations) of an MHRA approved vaccination, with 14 days having elapsed since the final dose. You are also considered fully vaccinated if:
- You are under 18 years and 6 months.
- You are taking part or have taken part in an MHRA approved Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial.
- You are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.