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11 October 2021

County Council issues guidance update to tackle COVID in children and young people

The County Council has issued updated guidance to education settings to help tackle high COVID-19 rates amongst children and young people in Cumbria.

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, previously issued additional guidance to these settings on the 23 September for the same reason but this has now been reviewed and updated.

The latest guidance is as follows:

Children aged 4 and under

  • Children aged 4 and under who are household contacts of a positive case should be kept at home for 5 days, starting from the onset of symptoms in the household contact who has tested positive (or test date if the positive case had no symptoms).
  • The child should only have a PCR test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18+6 months

  • Young people aged between 5 - 18+6 months (unless exempt - see below), are advised to stay at home if anyone in their household tests positive for COVID-19 (via either a PCR or Lateral Flow test).
  • Five days after symptoms began in the household contact who tested positive (or test date if the positive case had no symptoms), the young person should get a PCR test.
  • If the PCR is negative, they can return to their school, but should isolate again immediately and get another test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 later.

OR

  • Instead of isolating for the five days, children and young people who are contacts of household positive cases can take a Lateral Flow Test each morning and if negative, attend school the same day (rather than staying at home). This is an option for both primary and secondary school children.
  • If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, or receive a positive Lateral Flow test result, they should immediately isolate and get a PCR test.

The groups exempt from this advice (meaning they can attend school as normal) are:

  • Any child or young person who has had at least one dose of the vaccine more than 14 days ago.
  • Any child or young person who has tested positive for COVID-19 themselves via a PCR test within the past 90 days.
  • Where there are significant concerns about the impact of exclusion on the child or young person, but they are unable to carry out daily lateral flow testing.

Mr Cox, said: “Rates of COVID-19 amongst children and young people in Cumbria are extremely high, and although we’ve seen a slowing of these rates during the past seven days, they’re still far too high and causing disruption to children’s education.  

“As such, education leaders and I have agreed to continue with and update local additional COVID-19 outbreak management measures.

“We will review the latest guidance every two weeks and write to schools and parents again if the guidance changes or we remove it altogether.”

Find out how to get tested for COVID-19, either by PCR or Lateral Flow test via the NHS website.

You can see the latest schools guidance from Cumbria Public Health in full on the Cumbria County Council website.

For more information on the latest COVID situation in Cumbria, read the latest weekly COVID-19 situation report at cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread.


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The County Council has issued updated guidance to education settings to help tackle high COVID-19 rates amongst children and young people in Cumbria.