Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 17:30, Tuesday 6 October

COVID-19 cases in schools or nurseries

Information on what to do if your child or another pupil has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for the virus, and how the NHS Test and Protect programme will manage this.

Our single biggest priority is to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff. 

We have put a lot of new measures in place to keep our pupils and staff safe and help minimise the risk of coronavirus. We are closely following Scottish government guidance on coronavirus health and safety in schools and nurseries.

See the latest guidance and information on Coronavirus health and safety in schools and nurseries .

If your child or someone in your household shows symptoms of COVID-19 

If your child or someone in your household has any COVID-19 symptoms, you should:

  • all stay at home and self-isolate as a household, including children and adults. Do not send them to school.
  • book a test for everyone in your household who has symptoms through NHS Test and Protect
    • the nearest testing centre is Glasgow Airport
    • if you cannot get to a testing centre, you can arrange for a home test
  • let your school or nursery know that your child has COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone who does not have symptoms does not need a test but they must still self-isolate.

However, if anyone in your household, including children, develops COVID-19 symptoms while self-isolating, they need to book a test. Everyone else in your house should still self-isolate, whether they have symptoms or not.

If your child is not tested for COVID-19

If your child has symptoms, we strongly advise you get them tested

Even if your child does not have a test, they must stay at home for 10 days after they first show symptoms of COVID-19. They should not go to school, visit family or friends or go to public places like parks, playgrounds or shopping centres. 

If anyone in your household develops symptoms while self-isolating, they should also get tested. Your child must also be free of fever for 48 hours before they can come back to school.

Waiting for test results 

Your child and everyone in your household must stay at home while waiting on test results.

You should only book a test if the person shows symptoms. 

Getting a negative test result for a child who is self-isolating and does not have symptoms will not mean they can come back to school earlier.  

You should tell the school or nursery the results of your child's test.

If your child or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 

You should:

  • keep your child at home and everyone in the household must self-isolate for 14 days from the date they started having symptoms of COVID-19
  • follow all health guidance provided by NHS
  • inform your child's school of the test results.

We will:

  • work closely with NHS Test and Protect to identify any close contacts
  • get in touch with all close contacts and ask they self-isolate in line with current guidance
  • support your child to learn at home (if they are well enough).

We will always respect patient confidentiality and follow the NHS protocol on communicating with other parents. You or your child will not be identified as having tested positive.

If you or your child tests negative for COVID-19

You should:

  • tell the school or nursery your child has tested negative for COVID-19
  • keep your child at home until they are 48 hours free of fever - they can return to school if they are well enough and are not otherwise required to self-isolate
  • follow all health guidance provided by NHS.

If there's a positive case in your child's school or nursery

When someone in a local school tests positive for COVID-19, either a pupil or member of staff, an extensive risk assessment is carried out by:

  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board 
  • the school
  • our environmental health team.

We review the close contacts of that pupil or staff member during the period they may have been infectious, which includes the 48 hours before their symptoms first appeared.

If someone is identified as a close contact, NHS Test and Protect is mobilised at the school. Test and Protect is how public health test, trace, advise self-isolation and give support to people, even if they haven't had symptoms of COVID-19. 

If we identify close contacts within the school, we will:

  • call parents of pupils identified as close contacts to advise them they need to self-isolate for 14 days and offer appropriate advice
  • send those parents a follow-up letter letting them know the date their child can return to school
  • text all parents and carers at the school with a link to a letter from the NHS to make them aware Test and Protect is active - a full list of all these letters can be seen on our NHS Test and Protect letters from schools page
  • work with parents and carers of any child asked to self-isolate to minimise the disruption to learning for those pupils.

We will not be able to give any information which could identify the person who has tested positive - this is to protect patient confidentiality.

If the pupil or school staff member had no close contacts in the school in the period they could have been infectious then no Test and Protect activity will be needed.

In these instances, we will not contact parents or carers or make any public announcements, as there will be no risk to anyone in the school.

If a pupil shows symptoms of COVID-19 while at school

We will:

  • keep the pupil in an isolated room away from other pupils and staff
  • contact their parent or carer and arrange for the pupil to be collected - they should not use school or public transport.

If your child is a close contact of someone who has tested positive

If your child has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, we will contact you and advise your child needs to self-isolate for 14 days. This call will come from either the NHS Test and Protect team or our staff.

You should keep your child at home to self-isolate - do not send them to school until the full self-isolation period is complete.

You do not need to get your child tested if they do not have symptoms. However, if anyone in your household develops symptoms, they should book a test.

Only the child identified as a close contact needs to self-isolate. The rest of the household, including siblings, can continue to go to school or work as normal, assuming no one in the household develops symptoms or is otherwise asked to stay at home.

How we will keep you informed

Should we need to contact you, we will do this directly - via phone call (if your child is a close contact) or text message (if Test and Protect is active in your child's school).

For that reason it is crucial your school has the correct contact details for you. This should have already been provided through our schools' annual data check but if you have any concerns or have recently changed your mobile number, please contact your school to update your contact information.  

If you believe you should have had a text message from us and haven't, please contact your child's school to check your details are up to date. You can see all the Test and Protect schools letters we have issued on our NHS Test and Protect schools letters page.

Tests and temperature checks

Testing is operated by the government and the NHS. They currently only test people if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. There are no plans for mass temperature checking as this is not considered reliable. 

If your child or anyone in your household shows symptoms:

  • do not send your child to school
  • everyone in your house should self-isolate
  • anyone who has symptoms should book a test.

Surveillance and testing programme

We have an enhanced coronavirus monitoring and testing programme available to staff, children and young people across the country. 

This includes:

  • mobilising the NHS Test and Protect programme immediately when we identify a positive case in a school
  • outbreak management
  • rapid testing for anyone in schools and nurseries who has symptoms
  • close monitoring of the virus in schools and nurseries, and among nursery and school-aged children and young people, and staff. 

If you have been identified as a close contact of a person with a confirmed, positive test result, we will ask you to self-isolate for 14 days from when you had contact with that person. Even if you are tested and the results come back negative, you still have to self-isolate for 14 days.

We will keep parents, carers, schools and nurseries informed of any changes to restrictions, testing, health advice and guidance.