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Coronavirus: What Will Schools Do If Children Get Coronavirus?
Schools adopt measures for reducing the spread of coronavirus as children begin the autumn term. However, several parents have questions. What if my kid has a cold or cough? The NHS advises that children should continue going to school even if they have mild cold-like symptoms. Runny or blocked noses and sore throats are not symptoms of coronavirus. The government says children should take a day or two off to get better in the case of a heavy cold or if the child is aged under 6 in a nursery environment over school, such as Montessori Nursery London. However, your child may have coronavirus if the child has a change in or loss of their sense of smell or taste or has a new continuous cough or a fever. Your child should stay at home, isolate for 10 or more days and be tested. The other members of your family should begin self-isolation from the point when the child first shows symptoms. They should self-isolate for 14 days. Can pupils hug? The guidance to schools recognises the challenges of getting young pupils to socially distance. To balance the fact that pupils are not likely to stay 2m apart, England encourages “bubbles”, which is small groups the pupils will mix in. Wales and Scotland exempt pupils from the 2m distancing rule because it is hard for young pupils to understand the idea of physical distancing. Will pupils wear face coverings at school? In England, pupils in Year 7 and above should wear face coverings indoors, when they are not in a class, especially if they live in a local lockdown area. Also, in England, the headteachers in any secondary school can introduce masks because they have the power to do so. Secondary pupils should wear face coverings between lessons in Northern Ireland and Scotland. What measures should schools follow? The schools' minister for England Nick Gibb says, “schools have gone to “enormous effort” over the summer to make themselves safe.” Measures such as staggered break times, one-way systems and the introduction of hand sanitiser stations. Here are some rules the schools must follow, all the time: Maintain social distancing wherever possible Enhanced cleaning procedures Good hygiene around the use of tissues for coughs and sneezes More frequent hand-washing Keep pupils and family members with Covid-19 symptoms away from school What happens in case of a coronavirus outbreak? If there is a rise in the number of pupils with suspected Covid-19 or if there are two or more confirmed coronavirus cases within 14 days, a school is said to have a coronavirus outbreak. The school must work with local health protection teams if this happens. A mobile testing unit is sent if an outbreak in a school is confirmed. Testing begins with the class of the infected pupil and their year group follows. If necessary, the whole school is tested. What about schools in local areas under lockdown? Schools will use a four-stage tier system of extra measures in case there is an increase of coronavirus cases in any area of England. Tier 1: Staff and students Year 7 and above are required to wear face coverings in communal areas and corridors in schools fully open to all pupils. Tier 2: Primary schools stay open and secondary schools and colleges use a rota system - preferably two weeks on, two weeks off - for most pupils. Tier 3 and 4: Vulnerable and key worker children will continue to go to school, but “wider groups of pupils” will go back to remote learning at home. How to get to school? Pupils are encouraged to walk or cycle to school. Parents, who do not have an appointment, should not go on-site and parents should avoid gathering in groups at school gates.