Schools prepare for pupils’ return in light of COVID-19

As a new academic year gets underway, local schools supported by Gloucestershire County Council have been getting ready for students’ safe return in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news article, the council said that secondary schools had been offering pupils onsite lateral flow device tests before they return to face-to-face teaching, and that staff and students across all schools would be urged to carry on taking regular rapid tests.

It added that handwashing and regular cleaning across school buildings would continue, and that the wearing of face coverings on school or public transport was recommended.

Students aged 16 and 17, plus younger pupils aged 12 to 15 in certain eligible groups, were additionally encouraged to accept the offer of a COVID vaccine.

The council also noted that if a coronavirus outbreak occurred in a school, extra action might be considered when cases reach a threshold.

This could include face coverings in communal areas and classrooms for secondary school students, as well as moving group activities outdoors.

The council said that NHS Test and Trace will be used to identify close contacts of students receiving a positive coronavirus test result, though pupils aged under 18 years six months who are identified as a close contact will continue attending school — including if a person in their household has COVID-19, provided they are symptom-free.

However, the organisation added that it remains a legal requirement that anyone who tests positive or experiences coronavirus symptoms stays at home and takes a PCR test.

It also said that contacts of a confirmed case who are double-jabbed, who have participated in or are currently involved in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial or who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons do not have to isolate, but should still get a PCR test and limit socialising.


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