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Contact tracing in schools, colleges and nurseries

Notification of a positive case in an education setting

The school, college or nursery will tell you directly if someone in an education setting tests positive for COVID-19. For under 18's, parents or guardians will be notified.

In most cases, students will be sent home if they're a direct contact of a positive case of COVID-19 in an education setting, and a PCR test will be arranged as soon as possible. Different approaches may be taken if multiple positive cases are identified. Initial notification of this will be made by the school, college or nursery.

Contact tracing process

The contact tracing process follows these steps:

  1. positive case identified as a pupil or school staff
  2. Covid Safe Team notify Headteacher
  3. school provides details of direct contacts within the setting to Covid Safe Team
  4. school notifies parents/guardians of children who are direct contacts via email
  5. parents or guardians of direct contacts receive a text message with an appointment for one PCR test, which will be at the Harbour testing centre
  6. school notifies all other parents and guardians of children who are not direct contacts that a positive case has been identified within the school

Direct and indirect contacts

A direct contact, in most instances, will be those who have spent more than 15 minutes (inside or outside) within 2 metres or less, or had direct physical contact without personal protective equipment, with an individual who is currently an active positive person. This will generally include those people in the child's friendship group, classes and activities.

An indirect contact is anyone who was outside this distance and duration, did not have physical contact or wore suitable personal protective equipment. Indirect contacts may be invited for testing, depending on the circumstances (for example if there are a number of positive cases in the same class).

Testing

The test

The test is a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab. It will involve a swab being taken from the back of the throat and nose and this will be sent for virology testing. The test takes 5 minutes to complete. On average results should be available within 12 hours. However, they can take up to 24 hours.

You cannot swab yourself.

Test results

On average results should be sent to you within 12 hours.

This is a voluntary programme. It's your and your child's decision to take part in the testing programme.

If you do not wish to be tested, you will need to consider whether you should isolate, in line with current guidelines.

Results will not be shared with your employer unless required under the Jersey Law - Covid-19 (Screening, Assessment and Isolation) (Jersey) Regulations 2020, at which point all results will be anonymised.

Positive test result

If a child tests positive the Covid Safe Team will speak to their responsible adult, usually a parent/guardian.

If an adult test positive they will receive an SMS text message or email and a member of the Covid Safe Team will be in touch to advise that they have tested positive.

They will explain what this means, will provide further instruction, and they will also ask for details of anyone you have been in contact with.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate. Members of their household may wish to consider isolating, if the positive individual is unable to isolate separately within their home. 

You can claim isolation benefit if you need to self-isolate and can't work in relation to the latest Government advice on coronavirus.

You will need to contact your employer and inform them that you are required to isolate.

Isolation guidance

Negative test result

If the test result is negative, an SMS text message and/or email will be sent to confirm this. You will not be provided with a certificate confirming your negative result.

Isolation for children and their households

The action you need to take will depend upon how old the child is and whether they are able to look after themselves.

If your child is old enough and able to isolate on their own 

  • if your child is old enough and able to isolate on their own, they are not required to be confined to a single room within the house
  • children and young people who are isolating because they have symptoms or have tested positive are allowed to use outside spaces, with supervision, for periods of a maximum of two hours for fresh air and exercise, for example in a garden or open spaces such as a beach, park or a walk on a quiet lane, provided they adhere to physical distancing and other  public health guidance

Only the child will need to isolate. Other members of the household are not required to isolate, but should consider their daily activities and adhere to public health guidelines.

You can take steps to reduce the risk of other people in your household catching coronavirus these include:

  • wash hands regularly for 20 seconds each time, using soap and water
  • regularly and properly clean all touch points and surfaces in your home (this includes door handles, light switches, tables and counters, remote controls, kettle and fridge handles, all bathroom areas)
  • check the label on cleaning products to make sure you're using them correctly (some require you to leave the spray for 20 minutes to be effective)
  • make sure you're cleaning with a product that can kill coronavirus look at the product details the virucide EN number should be 14476
  • wait 20 minutes before entering a room someone else has been in, for example a bathroom. This allows the airborne particles to settle and the room can then be cleaned
  • make sure shared spaces are well ventilated, open windows to allow fresh air in
  • spend as much time as possible in separate rooms and try to reduce moving between different rooms
  • where possible maintain a 2 meter distance from others
  • wear a clean face-covering or mask whenever possible, especially within rooms or areas that may be used by others to reduce the risk of transmission, for example in hallways, kitchens or bathrooms
  • maximise the amount of fresh air and ventilation in your home

If you live in accommodation that has communal areas, for example hallways, stairs and lifts, you should wear a mask when walking through and wash your hands after touching surfaces for example hand rails or buttons in a lift. 

Leaving the home

Whilst isolating your child is allowed to leave the home under adult supervision for periods of fresh air or exercise to enhance their wellbeing. This is for a maximum of two hours a day and should be in wide open spaces such as a beach or public park if you do not have access to an outside garden at home.  

They must not:

  • leave the property except in an emergency, to receive essential medical care, or for exercise as outlined above
  • go to school
  • leave to buy food or other essentials
  • visit any public enclosed areas - this includes indoor activities, pubs and restaurants
  • use public transport or taxis 

Parents should speak to their school as to the timing of their child's return as this may be impacted by staffing levels resulting from COVID cases.

Isolation guidance

Return to nursery

Nursery school children identified as a direct contact will:  

  • not need to isolate
  • test on Day 0 PCR test 

If any symptoms develop you should call the helpline.   

Any children who are not willing or able to undergo PCR testing should isolate for 10 days.

Questions, concerns or complaints

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about any aspect of your treatment, contact the coronavirus helpline.

Further guidance for returning to nursery, primary and secondary schools in the Autumn term will be published in due course.

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