Responding to those with COVID-19 symptoms

It is vital that educational settings only ask children or staff to self-isolate and recommend they get a test if they develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those sent home to self-isolate, having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should only get tested if they develop symptoms themselves. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

The capacity of the NHS Test and Trace system must be protected for those with symptoms of the virus. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In line with the guidance, the home test kits supplied to schools and colleges must be reserved for those who face significant barriers to accessing a test and would not otherwise get tested. The Department of Health and Social Care is emailing all schools and colleges with details of how to access additional test kits. An order may be placed each month for a number of kits proportionate to the number of pupils or students at your school or college.

No one with symptoms should attend their nursery, school, college or university. If anyone in your early years setting, school or college confirms to you a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should notify your local health protection team immediately. The health protection team will work with you to carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.