NHS Test and Trace

Dear parents and guardians,

This is an important letter to share some information on how we can work together to make sure we can continue to give children and young people the best education in the safest way possible.

One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with Covid-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.

Therefore, I ask that you all follow these principles:

Yours sincerely,

Professor Viv Bennett CBE

Chief Nurse and Director Maternity and Early Years | Public Health England

Head of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Susan Hopkins

Interim Chief Medical Officer | NHS Test & Trace

Deputy Director | Public Health England

Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology
Royal Free, London

Useful resources

Launch of NHS COVID-19 app 

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free in England and Wales. The leaflet for parents and carers explaining how the app works is now available to download here.

Testing Advice for Schools & Parents/Carers

Who can ask for a test?You can ask for a test for a child who lives with you who has coronavirus symptoms, whatever their age.
These symptoms include one or more of the following:
– High temperature. This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
– A new continuous cough. This means coughing a lot more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have cough, it may be worse than usual)
– Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. This means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
The test must be done in the first five days of having symptoms
How to ask for a testOption 1 (usual route)
Parents book a test online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/ or by calling 119.

Parents will need to provide details such as name, home address, mobile phone number and email address (where booking information / confirmation / results will be sent).
Parents will be asked how they want to get the test, either by;
driving to a local testing site where a tester will carry out the test (or the parent if the child is aged 11 or under)
getting a home test kit (can take up to 48hrs to arrive)
It is generally easier and quicker to use the drive through service but this depends on having access to a car. 
There are a limited number of home test kits and drive-through test appointments available at any one time. If the website says there are none left, advise parents to check again later as more tests become available every hour.  It is often easier to book later in the day or in the evening.
It is advised that you ask the parents to share the outcome of the test results.
A young person can apply for a test for themselves from the age of 16: 

Option 2
If parents or carers are unable to book a local slot then they can email
d-ccg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net making clear the test is for a child attending a Torbay school and they will be supported to access local testing.

Option 3
In the event that a child attending school cannot be supported to access local testing then schools should consider providing one of their 10 home testing kits to the parents or carers of the child. The kits include details of how to carry out the test and how to arrange for its return.  This option is limited to families who will have difficulty accessing option 1. 

What happens?
The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
Young people aged 12 or over can do the test themselves or have someone do it for them. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.
If there is a problem
If a parent has any questions about a test they’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, they can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm on 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)

For schools

Additional information for parents about what happens following the result can be found here www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/

In this section