COVID-19 information letter for the new school term
The following information has been prepared to answer questions that you may have about COVID-19 and the return of your child to school.
1. What will happen if there is a case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in school?
Whole classes will no longer be asked to self-isolate if someone in the class tests positive for COVID-19.
Your child would only be identified as a contact if they have had prolonged close contact with the case (someone who tests positive for COVID-19) – e.g. same household, overnight stays.
There will be no requirement for you or your child to self-isolate unless you are contacted by Test and Protect – the contact tracing service.
All close contacts of the case who need to take specific actions will be identified, contacted and advised by the Test and Protect service to follow the latest guidance on self-isolation and testing. The guidance was updated on 9 August 2021 and usually the following will not need to isolate:
– adults who are fully vaccinated, whereby, at least 14 days has passed since the second vaccination, who do not have symptoms, and do not develop symptoms, and who have not tested positive;
– children and young people aged under 18 who do not have symptoms, and do not develop symptoms, and who have not tested positive.
Further information on the latest self-isolation requirements can be found on the NHS Inform website at: www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19 . Accessible, easy read formats and information in other languages can be accessed at: Translations (nhsinform.scot).
2. Regular testing
Regular testing even when you don’t have symptoms can help keep you and your school community safe.
If your child is at secondary school, they can access free LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests from the school, to allow them to test twice-weekly at home as long as they have no symptoms. Please contact the school directly to ask about this if your child is having problems accessing tests.
Please encourage your child to test twice-weekly, and to record all positive, negative or void results on the online reporting portal at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result.
In addition, you and the rest of your family, including primary school-aged children, can access free test kits through the Universally Accessible Testing programme, which is available to everyone in Scotland. Free at-home LFD test kits are available for collection from COVID test centres or pharmacies, or delivery by ordering online. www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/no-covid-symptoms.
3. Book a test if you or your child develop symptoms
Please be vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19. If your child develops any symptoms of COVID-19 they must not attend school. They should stay at home, self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. Find out more on NHS Inform.
All other household members of your child (including yourself) must also stay at home and follow the latest guidance, which can be found on NHS Inform. In the event of a positive result, the Test and Protect service will contact you to provide tailored advice on what to do.
Book a test at NHS Inform for your nearest COVID-19 test site. There are drive-through, walk-through, and mobile testing units across Scotland which are open from 8 am until 8 pm, 7 days a week. A full list of sites can be found at Gov.Scot. Or you can order a home PCR test kit online, or by calling 119. A test will then be delivered to your home. To return you can either drop the test at your nearest priority post box, or if you are unable to go out, you can also call 119 to book a courier collection from your home.
4. How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. DO:
Get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so and are eligible. Vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19 causing anyone to become seriously unwell. If anyone who is eligible in your family or home have not yet been vaccinated, then they should arrange vaccination as soon as possible. This could also help you avoid having to self-isolate in the future. Information on how to arrange a vaccination can be found on NHS inform.
Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze and put used tissues straight in the bin and wash your hands.
Open windows/doors regularly to ventilate your home Be vigilant for COVID symptoms and self-isolate when you have COVID symptoms or have been advised to by the Test and Protect service.
For general Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions and information: https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/coronavirus/coronavirus-faq?age=0
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection | NHS inform
For local information and details of the services available in Lanarkshire:
Dr John Logan
Acting Director of Public Health, NHS Lanarkshire