Update from Wirral Public Health Team issued 28th June
‘We are still requesting that all identified close contacts of cases (whether they have symptoms or not) get a PCR test. To do this, you need to request a home-testing kit via the self-booking system. Staff, students and parents should go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to book this test. You will be asked to identify whether the person has COVID symptoms. If they have no symptoms, they should select ‘No’ for this answer and proceed through the questions until they get to the question: Why are you asking for a test? They should select the box that says - I’ve been told to get a test by my local council, health protection team or healthcare professional …. And then the option that states: My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms. They can then proceed to book the test. Please note that a negative PCR for contacts of a case does NOT mean that they can cut short their isolation period (as the virus can still develop during the incubation period of 10 days). ‘
If a parent or carer is experiencing one of the 3 main COVID symptoms and is waiting for the results of a PCR test, they should NOT send their children into schools while they are awaiting the results. If a parent/carer is waiting for a PCR result, both they and their children could potentially be infectious and therefore the children should not be attending school while the parent is waiting for their test result. If the parent receives a negative PCR result, their children can return to school. If the parent/carer receives a positive result, they and their family members have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.
Parents/carers should NOT use home LFDs to test whether symptomatic primary-age children have COVID or not. While convenient to use these at home, the difficulty in carrying out a nasal and throat swab with a young child means that the test results are often not valid. Also, everyone who has at least one of the 3 main COVID symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste/and/or smell) should have a PCR test. If parents have a symptomatic child, they need to book a supervised PCR test. (see www.wirral.gov.uk for local details)