COVID-19 Key Guidance for Education Settings: April 2022

Following the further removal of COVID-19 restrictions in April 2022; Education and Public Health have updated the previous advice related to COVID-19 management for the forthcoming half term and beyond. This advice will be reviewed as the situation changes. Local guidance is presented in italics.

National guidance can be found here:

We continue to support all schools/settings who choose to keep certain COVID-19 mitigations in place in times of high incidence. (e.g. zoning of classes/age groups).

  1. Symptomatic Individuals/Positive cases - local advice/recommendations
  2. Close contacts
  3. Regular LFT testing
  4. Attendance restriction
  5. Face coverings
  6. Reducing mixing
  7. Ventilation
  8. Visitors
  9. Vaccination
  10. Hand hygiene and cleaning

Symptomatic Individuals/Positive cases - local advice/recommendations

  • Education, Early Years and Public Health colleagues will continue their commitment to provide advice and support, prioritising those settings with a significantly high number of cases.
  • In addition, we would ask schools and early years settings to please come to us on dphadmin@warwickshire.gov.uk if you need advice and support with outbreak management during working hours during the week.
  • For urgent health protection issues which need responding to at the weekend, please contact UKHSA on 01384 679031 and ask for the person on-call for Coventry and Warwickshire.
  • Adults and children who have respiratory symptoms* AND are unwell/have a high temperature should stay at home, avoid contact with others, and only return when well enough and have no temperature. Please note this applies to adults and children who are unwell for any reason/have a temperature (even without respiratory symptoms).
  • For individuals with positive LFT results:
    • Adults self-isolate for 5 clear days (minimum) after the day of test – which is day 0. Can then return to normal activities only if well enough and don't have a temperature.
    • Children self-isolate for 3 clear days (minimum) after the day of test – which is day 0. Can then return to normal activities only if well enough and don't have a temperature.
    • If deisolating before the end of 10 days, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals
  • The above also applies to special school settings.
  • *COVID-19 symptoms/those of other respiratory infections: continuous cough, high temperature, fever of chills, loss/ change in sense of taste or smell, tiredness/lack of energy, shortness of breath, headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual, sore throat, muscle ache, blocked/runny nose, diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick vomiting.

Close contacts

  • Where you have high numbers of staff/children unwell with respiratory symptoms, but you are not clear if it is or isn't COVID-19, then please keep parents informed as you would usually have done prior to the pandemic, asking them to be vigilant for symptoms.
  • If LFT result of any of the symptomatic individuals is positive and you have rising numbers of suspected cases: it is recommended that you notify close contacts of cases.
  • Advice for close contacts of COVID_19 cases (in LA letters):
  • If you have access to LFTs, you may wish to test regularly over the next seven days
  • Be vigilant for symptoms and avoid contact with vulnerable individuals.
  • Wear a face covering as appropriate in indoor public places
  • If close contacts of LFT positive cases become symptomatic, treat as per guidance for symptomatic individuals (remain off school/setting whilst unwell/have a high temperature). If you have rising numbers of cases and need advice, please contact us as above.

Vulnerable individuals

Regular LFT testing

  • Staff and pupils in mainstream settings are no longer expected to do regular LFTs.

Attendance restriction

  • This may be advised on public health advice in extreme cases of operational disruption to staffing or where other recommended measures have not mitigated against risks to face-to-face education.

Face coverings

  • Face coverings may be temporarily recommended in communal areas or classrooms as part of outbreak management measures.
  • General wearing of face coverings in school/early years settings is not recommended.

Reducing mixing

  • During times of high incidence of infection, consider ways in which children can be "zoned", or how mixing (including staff) might be reduced in ways that will fit with how you are operating your school/setting:  e.g. assemblies, at lunch and break times, start and finish times. Think particularly about places people congregate, eg foyers, locker areas, staff rooms/offices/meeting rooms, changing rooms etc. 
  • All sports fixtures, planned trips / educational visits should be risk assessed.

Ventilation

Visitors

  • Be mindful about bringing others onto site, and if in an outbreak setting, they should wear a face covering and leave their contact details so they can be traced as close contacts if necessary.

Vaccination

Hand hygiene and cleaning

  • Remind children and staff to wash their hands regularly and use sanitiser where possible 
  • Continue with regular cleaning routine and very regular cleaning down touchpoints and areas of heavy traffic.

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