Services for children

Managing cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in early years settings

This guidance is to support nurseries, childminders and children’s centres in Ealing to manage suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their settings. Until the COVID-19 track and trace system is fully operational it is also important that the Local Authority and Public Health are able to maintain an overview of local cases. This guidance will be updated as and when required in line with government policies.

Refer to the flow chart for managing suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in early years settings (see download section below)

Stay at home if symptomatic

Staff and parents should be aware that if anyone in their household has any of the following symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, they need to STAY AT HOME:

  1. Fever greater than 37.8C
  2. New persistent/continuous cough
  3. Loss or change in taste or smell

The person with symptoms needs to stay at home and isolate for 7 days (from the day that symptoms start). If that person still has symptoms (other than cough or loss of taste/smell) after 7 days, they must continue to self-isolate until they feel better. Everyone else in the household needs to stay at home and isolate for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the symptoms to develop in other household members.

Developing symptoms on site

If anyone in an education or childcare setting becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while they are attending the setting, they must be sent home and advised to follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door with appropriate adult supervision. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

PPE (gloves, apron, fluid resistant surgical mask and eye protection) should be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. Staff should pay attention to don and doff PPE safely, according to guidance, and ensure meticulous hand washing after its removal. Staff should wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell and of course, frequently throughout the day.

In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.

If a member of staff has helped someone with symptoms, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, they can access testing), or the child subsequently tests positive, in which case they may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days as part of ‘test and trace’ (see below).

The early years provider may want to consider informing parents of suspected cases of Covid-19 within their setting, so that parents can be aware of the potential exposure. Each family’s circumstances vary and having this information can help them to manage the risk. For example, a family who has elderly relatives living with them may be extra vigilant to keep children away from these elderly relatives over the next few days (e.g. avoiding shared spaces). The identity of the symptomatic person must be kept confidential.

Please read the guidance on cleaning after a suspected case of COVID-19 in order to reduce the risk of infection, including PPE requirements (Available in the download section below).

Testing

Staff and children who develop coronavirus symptoms are encouraged to access testing and should apply as soon as possible within 3 days of having symptoms (the test is best taken within 5 day of symptoms starting). This test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. Children under 12 need a parent or guardian to do this for them. There is an option of going to a regional drive through testing site or getting a home testing kit delivered. Please note this is different to an ‘antibody’ test which detects potential signs of immunity to the virus. These tests are not currently available to education and childcare settings.

Where the child or staff member tests negative, and the child is well, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.

Where the child or staff member tests positive, the child/family should be contacted as part of the national ‘Test and Trace’ system, and the rest of their group or ‘bubble’ within the setting may be asked to isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

Who should early years settings contact?

For suspected cases of COVID-19 – where children or staff have COVID-19 symptoms

Contact Family Information Service (FIS) email: children@ealing.gov.uk Tel: 020 825 5588, for advice, including how to access testing.

For confirmed cases (test positive) of COVID-19

Contact Public Health England London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) on 0300 303 0450 if there has been a confirmed coronavirus case (staff or child) who has attended your setting.

Also inform: Family Information Service (FIS) email: children@ealing.gov.uk Tel: 020 825 5588 and the council’s public health team publichealth@ealing.gov.uk.

Public Health England’s London coronavirus response cell will undertake a risk assessment, including on close contacts who will need to self-isolate for 14 days, and will advise on the most appropriate action to take.

For more than one confirmed case of COVID-19 in an early years setting

Contact Public Health England London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) on 0300 303 0450

Also inform: Family Information Service (FIS) email: children@ealing.gov.uk Tel: 020 825 5588 and the council’s public health team publichealth@ealing.gov.uk

Public Health England’s London coronavirus response cell will undertake a risk assessment, including on close contacts who will need to self-isolate for 14 days, and will advise on the most appropriate action to take.

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Last updated: 18 Jun 2020