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Latest guidance for Covid and school absence

Exclusion of children with suspected respiratory illness (including COVID-19)

  • Children with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or mild cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education or childcare setting. Encourage all children with respiratory symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing and to wash their hands after using or disposing of tissues.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and where possible avoid contact with other people. They can go back to their education or childcare setting when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough.
  • Children who develop a high temperature whilst in the setting should be sent home. 

Exclusion of individuals with a positive COVID-19 test result

  • If a child or young person (under the age of 18) has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and where possible avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day, they took the test. The risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower after 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature.
  • Staff and young people aged 18+ who have a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and where possible avoid contact with other people for 5 days.
  • Children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result can continue to attend as normal.

Outbreak management

All settings should have in place baseline infection prevention and control measures that will help to manage the spread of infection. If an outbreak or incident is suspected, education and childcare settings should review and reinforce the baseline infection prevention and control measures they already have in place.

This will include:

  • encouraging all staff and students who are unwell not to attend the setting
  • ensuring all eligible groups are enabled and supported to take up the offer of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • ensuring occupied spaces are well ventilated and let fresh air in
  • reinforcing good hygiene practices such as frequent cleaning
  • considering communications to raise awareness among parents and carers of the outbreak or incident and to reinforce key messages, including the use of clear hand and respiratory hygiene measures within the setting such as E-Bug
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