Parents advised to remain cautious as schools feeling the impact of COVID
Parents in Cumbria are being advised to take precautions as schools feel the impact of rising COVID infection rates.
In the last two weeks alone, 203 schools or childcare settings in the county have reported positive cases, with eight primary schools either fully or partially closed due to the impact of the virus on staffing levels.
Children aged 0-4 years have seen the greatest proportional increase in infection rates of any age group during the last 7 days (118%), with primary (41%) and secondary school (52%) age children also experiencing large increases.
Claire King, a Consultant in Public Health with Cumbria County Council, said: “While testing remains free of charge (until 31 March 2022), please continue to get a PCR test for your children if they develop one or more of the three main symptoms of COVID-19 – a high temperature, continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell.
“The public health advice is that you should stay at home when you test positive for COVID-19 via either a PCR or LFD test. If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, they should LFD test from day five following the onset of their symptoms (or day 5 following their positive test result if there were no symptoms).
“Children should only return to school once they have had a negative LFD test for two days in a row – and please remember a faint line on the LFD test still counts as a positive test result.
“The national guidance now advises that close contacts of positive cases (including siblings and other household members) no longer need to LFD test and can attend school as normal. However, household contacts remain at high risk of catching COVID-19, so we ask parents and carers to remain very cautious in looking out for signs of illness in their children when other members of the household have tested positive. If in doubt, get a test.
“Schools are also starting to see other infections circulating (such as sickness bugs and Scarlet Fever). There are some basic measures that everyone can take that are effective in helping to reduce the spread of most infections – such as washing your hands regularly using soap and water and using tissues for runny noses, coughs, and sneezes.”
With free COVID-19 testing ending next week, anyone needing to take a Lateral Flow test will need to buy one from a private retailer after Friday 1 April – such as a local pharmacist.
For the latest COVID-19 guidance please visit the government website.
For the latest COVID-19 situation report for Cumbria, please visit cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread.