Coronavirus: Advice on Testing and Unwell Siblings

Dear Parent/Carer

RE: Testing

We have received further advice from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace and have been asked to share this with members of the College community.

To ensure identification of those with coronavirus while avoiding a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms, it is recommended that any student or member of staff who feels unwell books a test if:

  • they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms:

- a high temperature

- a new, continuous cough

- the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell, or

  • they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse)

If a student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms described above, only they should be tested.  There is no need for other members of their household to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic.  If a student or staff member does not have one of the three main coronavirus symptoms, they should only be tested if directed to do so by the local authority, health protection team or GP.

As schools return, individuals may feel unwell, for example with a sore throat, stomach upset or a headache. These pupils and students do not need to book a test, but may need to stay home and seek medical advice through their GP or pharmacist as usual.

RE: Unwell Siblings

We have also received clarification regarding sending a child home unwell with potential Covid symptoms where there are also siblings.  The Government guidance states:

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, which sets out that they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19).

Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

The guidance also states:

If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.

We hope the above information is helpful to you.