Latest Advice from Public Health England/NHS
Friday 13th March 2020 (this page is updated daily)
Please see below latest advice from the NHS and Public Health England:
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Read our advice about staying at home.
Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Public Health England
5. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is suspected in your childcare or education setting
If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home. As a precautionary measure, the NHS are currently testing a very large number of people who have travelled back from affected countries, the vast majority of whom test negative. Therefore, until the outcome of test results is known there is no action that staff members need to take apart from cleaning specific areas (section 13) and disposing of waste (section 14).
Once the results arrive, those who test negative for COVID-19 will be advised individually about return to education.
6. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is confirmed in your childcare or education setting
The childcare or educational setting will be contacted by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken. An assessment of each childcare or education setting will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with relevant staff. Advice on the management of pupils or students and staff will be based on this assessment.
The Health Protection Team will also be in contact with the patient directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts, and will be in touch with any contacts of the patient to provide them with appropriate advice. Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as classrooms, changing rooms and toilets will be given by the Health Protection Team and is outlined later in this document.
If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.
7. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your institution are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 who was symptomatic while attending your childcare or educational setting
The definition of a contact includes:
- any pupil, student or staff member in close face-to-face or touching contact including those undertaking small group work (within 2 metres of the case for more than 15 minutes)
- talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the individual is symptomatic
- anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids of the individual
- close friendship groups
- any pupil, student or staff member living in the same household as a confirmed case, or equivalent setting such as boarding school dormitory or other student accommodation
Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others, however:
- they will be asked to self-isolate at home, or within their boarding school dormitory room, for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case and follow the home isolation advice sheet
- they will be actively followed up by the Health Protection Team
- if they develop any symptoms within their 14-day observation period they should call NHS 111 for assessment
- if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be tested for COVID-19
- if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of potential contact with COVID-19
- if they are unwell at any time within their 14-day observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated for the infection
Family and friends who have not had close contact (as listed above) with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities such as attending childcare or educational settings or work, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell, they should call NHS 111 and explain their symptoms and discuss any known contact with the case to consider if they need further assessment.
If a confirmed case occurs in an educational setting the local Health Protection Team will provide you with advice and will work with the headteacher, principal and or management team of that setting. Outside those that are defined as close contacts, the rest of the school does not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities attending educational establishments or work as usual, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell they will be assessed as a suspected case depending on their symptoms. This advice applies to teaching staff and children in the rest of the class who are not in a close friendship group or children undertaking small group work. The decision as to whether pupils, students and staff fall into this contact group or the closer contact group will be made between the Health Protection Team, the educational setting and (if they are old enough) the student. Advice should be given as follows:
- if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be asked to self-isolate and should seek medical advice from NHS 111
- if they are unwell at any time within the 14 days of contact and they are tested and are positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated as such.
8. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your childcare or educational setting have travelled from any Category 1 specified country/area in the past 14 days
If an individual falls into this category, contact NHS 111 for further advice:
if they are currently well, they should self-isolate for 14 days and you should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational setting
if they become unwell please call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist. You should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational establishment. If they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19
9. What to do if a pupil, student or staff member has travelled from a Category 2 specified country/area in the last 14 days
If they are currently well:
- they are advised to self-isolate only if they develop symptoms
- they can continue to attend work or education
- they do not need to avoid contact with other people
- their family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
- testing people with no symptoms for COVID-19 is currently not recommended
- it is useful to always take a mobile phone with them when they go out so that they can contact others if they do become unwell
If they become unwell:
- they should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as they would with other flu viruses (see this home isolation advice sheet).
- they (or a family member, colleague or member of staff) should call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist, as quickly as possible
- they should stay at home and should not attend work or education
- they should not go directly to their GP or other healthcare environment
- if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19
- see further information and the Public Health England Blog