21 Sep COVID-19 Advice from Public Health Haringey
Dear Parents and Carers,
I’m writing to you to give some important public health information around the associated coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, and what the guidelines are should anyone within your household develop them, as we are starting to see an increase in COVID-19 cases within our community. It is important to stress that the chances of the virus being transmitted within schools remain very low, with schools being regarded as generally safe environments for children to be in.
COVID-19 symptoms are as follows:
- A high temperature of 37.8 degrees or above
- Loss or change to sense of smell/taste
- New, continuous cough – coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (a usual cough may be worse than normal.
Most people with suspected COVID-19 will have at least one of these symptoms.
What to do if your child falls ill with COVID-19 symptoms?
If your child develops one or more of the above COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay at home or, if this occurs while they are at school, they will be sent home immediately or kept safely at school until they can be picked up by a parent or appointed adult. All children showing at least one symptom will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days and book a test. Anyone living in the same household as the child should start a 14-day self-isolation period as per NHS guidelines.
Testing for COVID-19 is only recommended if anyone in the household develops any of the associated symptoms.
Why should your child take a test?
Testing is the only way we can get a clearer picture of the confirmed/suspected cases within our community here in Haringey and it helps us to inform when other children and staff might need to self-isolate.
Children who have not taken a test, and who have been ill with one or more of the associated symptoms, should not return to school until the 10-day self-isolation period has been completed – even if they feel better and no longer have symptoms. Household members, such as siblings and/or carers/parents who are teachers/support staff, should not return to school until after their 14-day self-isolation period has been completed.
Children who receive a negative COVID-19 test result can return to school immediately and their households can stop self-isolation, as long as no one in else in the household has developed COVID-19 symptoms or had a positive test.
Children who test positive can attend school after the 10-day self-isolation period if they feel well enough. Household members will however still need to continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days as it can take a fortnight for symptoms to appear.
When might your well child be asked to self-isolate?
Your child may be asked to start a 14-day self-isolation period should anyone within their ‘bubble’ at school or college test positive. Even if your child does not develop symptoms during this time, it is important they self-isolate for the full 14 days. Household members only need to start self-isolation if anyone in the household starts developing the associated symptoms.
What are our schools doing to keep children safe?
Haringey Council’s Health and Safety team has provided advice, help and support to schools on their risk assessments. These measures help protect children and staff alike and ensure the chances of the virus being transmitted in our community remains low.
In the event of a suspected/confirmed case, schools know the measures they need to take, the information they need to share with you and they will make sure they do both if/as and when required.
The best thing you – as parents and carers – can do is to be aware of the associated symptoms and book a test should anyone within your household fall ill with one (or more) of those symptoms.
What can you do to help keep the community safe?
With infection rates increasing across the borough, we ask that our residents continue to adhere to social distancing measures, such as staying six feet (two metres )away from others whenever possible, regularly washing your hands, wearing a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may not be possible and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. You must not meet in groups of more than six when meeting with people from outside of your household, either indoors or outside.
Please help support your child’s school in following these guidelines, so that they remain open and keep children and staff as safe as possible.
For further information, please see the ‘Reopening Schools’ page on the Haringey Council website.
All the latest local news and updates on the response to the pandemic can also be found here.
Dr Will Maimaris
Director of Public Health