Staffordshire District NEU
Briefing for NEU members
Coronavirus: symptoms, testing and self-isolation
This is a summary of the NHS and government guidelines on what steps to take if you develop symptoms or test positive for Covid-19. For more detailed guidance please visit:
1. What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
- A high temperature OR
- a continuous dry cough OR
- a change or loss of taste and/or smell.
2. What should I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop any of these symptoms you must stay home and self-isolate for ten days from the start of the symptoms. Book a test as soon as possible – dial 119 or go online to do this. You should not leave home for at least ten days after your test.
3. What happens if I test positive?
If you have a positive test you must inform the school immediately and continue to self-isolate for at least ten days or until you have no fever, whichever is longer. You do not need to continue to self-isolate after ten days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
4. If my test is negative
If you and your household are isolating because you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, you and your household are able to end self-isolation early if you receive a negative test. However, if you are isolating because you live with someone who has symptoms, you must continue to isolate for 14 days even if you receive a negative test. You may only end isolation early if the person with symptoms in your household receives a negative test.
5. What about other members of my household?
If you develop symptoms all members of your household should self-isolate for fourteen days, whether they have symptoms or not. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they should get tested. They need to stay at home for at least ten days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original fourteen-day isolation period.
6. What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation means you must not leave your house for any reason. Members of your household should not leave the house and you should try to minimise contact with other members of your household.
7. What if someone in my household shows symptoms?
They should get tested and everyone in the house should stay home for fourteen days, whether they have symptoms or not. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they should get tested. They need to stay at home for at least ten days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original fourteen-day isolation period.
8. If someone in my household has tested positive
You must self-isolate for fourteen days and get tested if you develop symptoms. You can return to work after fourteen days without symptoms.
9. If another member of staff or pupil develops symptoms
They should be sent home and should book a test as soon as possible. Members of their household must also self-isolate and get tested if they also develop symptoms. The school should alert those staff with whom they have been in close contact, so that staff can be alert to possible symptoms and the school is ready to respond to a positive test.
10. If another member of staff or pupil tests positive?
The school should seek advice from the London Coronavirus Response Centre (LCRC) and establish which members of the school community they have had close contact with.
Note: Contact tracing is not necessary until there is a positive test and schools should only contact LCRC if there is a positive test.
11. When should schools consider sending staff or pupils home?
If there is a positive test then the school may have to send a bubble or group of pupils and staff home. This will depend on the number of close contacts within the school. Schools will be advised and supported in making decisions by LCRC conducting a risk assessment with the school.
12. If I am sent home do I need to get a test?
You do not need to do this straight away; you should only book a test if you develop symptoms.
13. I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19
You must self-isolate for fourteen days and get a test if you develop symptoms – you can return to work after fourteen days without symptoms.
14. I have been in contact with someone who has been identified as a close contact
You can attend work as normal – the risk of secondary transmission is very low.
15. Will I lose pay if I am self-isolating?
No member of staff should be penalised for following government guidelines; so there should be no question of losing pay for any of the reasons listed above.
We will issue further updates but please do check the NEU website www.neu.org.uk/coronavirus and contact us if you have any concerns about any aspect of this situation.