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Public health advice for young people preparing for new term

Public health advice for young people preparing for new term

by Henry James (August 2021)

PUBLIC health experts are calling for families to "work together" with schools and colleges as thousands of children and young adults in prepare to head back to the classroom.

The majority of Lancashire’s primary, secondary and colleges will re-open on September 1.
On their return, pupils and students in secondaries and colleges are encouraged to undertake two on-site Covid-19 tests.

Following on from that, pupils and students are encouraged to continue to take their free, rapid Covid tests twice a week, ensuring they report their results online.

If a school, college or childcare setting does experience a positive case of Covid-19, a change in the law means that close contacts will not have to self-isolate if they are double jabbed or under 18.

They will however be strongly advised to take a PCR test, although they will only need to isolate if they test positive.

Pupils and students eligible for a Covid vaccine are also being encouraged to take up the offer and get their jab at one of Lancashire's vaccination sites.

Due to restrictions easing across England, face masks are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

The Government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but recommends they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.

If a school, college or childcare setting experiences a number of positive cases then some temporary measures may be introduced to slow the spread of the virus and mitigate disruption.

Abdul Razaq, acting director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “Schools have worked strenuously during the last 18 months to keep our children, and our education staff, safe from Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, this has sometimes negatively impacted their education, despite the best efforts of education staff, who have been incredible through the pandemic.

“We now know that the risk of severe illness in children and young people is low, while there are significant harms associated with missed education.

“This is why it is so crucial that we help to manage the virus going forward by continuing to test twice-weekly using free, rapid Covid tests.

“This will help us spot positive cases in people with no symptoms, breaking the chain of transmission and keeping any disruption to our children’s education to an absolute minimum.”

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