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23rd Sep 2020

Advice and Guidance about Coronavirus Symptoms from PHE

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The Department for Education has sent us a letter produced by Public Health England which has been distributed to all parents and carers via Parentmail.

Essentially the letter contains the following advice about identifying the symptoms of Coronavirus and when and how to book a test.

You should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:

1. a high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature)

2. a new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

3. a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal

Your child does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus. 

If you are unsure about whether to get a test, please check the official list of symptoms on the NHS website, which is reviewed regularly: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 

Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self-isolate whilst waiting for the test result.

If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self-isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms. 

If a pupil in a class or bubble tests positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self-isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms. No one else in the same class or bubble as the symptomatic person needs to take any action unless advised by the school. Schools have detailed guidance and access to a Department for Education and Public Health England helpline for advice and support.

Contacts of a person who has tested positive must follow the guidance carefully and in full, which means they must stay at home for 14 days. This is because it can take several days following contact with an infected person before an individual develops symptoms or the virus can be detected. Students should only book a test if they get symptoms.

The NHS has produced some guidance to help parents understand when their child can and cannot attend school which you may find useful: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthybody/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/ It is vital for children’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to school.

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