How Will Schools React to Children Getting the Coronavirus?

With the autumn term about to begin, there have been certain measures established by schools due to the coronavirus.

However, there are lingering questions that are still being asked about the situation.

What If the Child Develops a Cough/Cold?

According to the NHL, a child with mild cold symptoms can continue to go to school.

This can include symptoms such as runny noses, blocked noses, and sore throats. With a heavier cold, children are recommended to take at least a day or two off from school to recover. If a child has additional symptoms such as a cough, change in taste, and/or fever, it may have to do with the coronavirus. As a result, the child should quarantine at home for at least 10 days along with being tested.

All other members of the household will also have to quarantine for at least two weeks.

Can Students Hug?

It’s understood how difficult social distancing can be for young children in a school setting.

England will have small groups set up and students can mingle while maintaining a certain distance. In Wales and Scotland, these restrictions will not be in place since they are difficult to maintain in a school setting.

Do Children Have to Wear Face Coverings?

For students residing in a local lockdown area, anyone in year 7 or above will be asked to wear face coverings in all indoor settings. Any additional measures will be up to the discretion of headteachers in secondary schools. Younger children, including those in bilingual nurseries, will not need face coverings.

For Northern Ireland and Scotland, all secondary pupils will be expected to wear face coverings between lessons.

What Precautions Will Schools Be Taking?

A considerable amount of time has been spent planning the return of school over the summer according to officials in the education sector. This includes setting up one-way systems, mixed break times, and hand sanitiser stations.

Additional rules have also been established in all schools:

  • ┬áIncreased hand-washing
  • Quarantining of all pupils with Covid-19 symptoms
  • Cutting-edge cleaning procedures
  • Improved hygiene processes for sneezing and coughing
  • Increased social distancing.

What Will Happen If There Is a Coronavirus Surge?

The definition of an outbreak would be 2+ cases within two weeks. The same applies to whether or not those children are attending school at the time of the outbreak.

After the assessment is complete and there have been multiple cases suggesting an outbreak, the local health protection teams will kick into high gear. This includes confirming whether or not this is a legitimate outbreak. To complete this step in the process, a mobile testing unit is going to be sent to help. This will allow professionals an opportunity to test everyone in the pupil’s class for the coronavirus along with everyone in their year. If the outbreak is substantial, this will expand into testing the entire school.

What Will Happen to Schools in Local Lockdown Regions?

Assuming there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases within a region, there is going to be a four-stage system to regulate what happens next.

  • Stage 1 – The school will remain open for all students while requiring mandatory face coverings within all communal areas and/or corridors. This will be reserved for all staff and students above year 7.
  • Stage 2 – In this phase, a rota system will be set up (i.e. 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off) for students in secondary schools and colleges, while primary schools will remain open.
  • Stage 3 & 4 – A majority of the students will receive their education through remote learning at home. The only individuals coming on-site will be key workers and vulnerable children.

How Will Students Go to School?

It’s recommended to walk or cycle to school while making sure not to gather near the school gates or visit the school without an appointment.