Self – isolating / COVID-19 positive test rules - What does that mean for me?
Frequently Asked Questions that we have seen, heard or read…
What is self-isolating?
Self-isolating is where you are being instructed by the government to stay at home as you have come in contact with a positive COVID 19 test. You should understand and follow guidance, not ignore it.
It is now part of UK Law that you DO NOT leave your house AND DO NOT let anyone else into your house for the period of self-isolation.
The purpose of self-isolation is to limit or prevent the spread of the virus. Stay at home to stop the spread of the virus out of your home in the community. Stay away from your family in your own home to stop the potential spread of the virus in your home.
If have come in contact with someone with C19 - What does this mean for the people I live?
Although you are to stay at home you MUST be away from the rest of your family – sleeping, eating and living away from them. They must stay away from you and you have to monitor your own health in case you start to feel ill / get symptoms. You can only be with your family, together, for very short periods in well-ventilated rooms, preferably with face coverings, during this period.
If you are a close contact you could potentially have been infected by someone else and you too could be infectious, even if you feel completely well (asymptomatic) or poorly with other symptoms.
If you do not stay away from YOUR family, whilst isolating in YOUR home - when you have been in close contact with a positive case - YOU could be giving covid-19 to THEM – keep your household safe.
I have been self-isolating and I start to feel ill, what do I do?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should seek a test immediately by dialling 119. If you can drive yourself to a test centre and are well enough to do so, drive yourself there but go on your own! If you are not well enough to drive to a test centre then order a postal test. YOU MUST STILL STAY AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSEHOLD.
I was told to self-isolate, I had a test that has come back negative – what does that mean?
Although you had a negative test you MUST STILL STAY AT HOME in isolation – you may yet develop symptoms and get a positive test OR you may have got a false reading and still be / become infectious up to the end of your 10 day self-isolation period – you must still keep your family safe by staying away from them.
I was told to self-isolate, I had a test that has come back positive – what does that mean?
Now ALL of your household must isolate together. YOU – must self-isolate as you are infectious for 10 days from your first symptom or your positive test, whichever came first. YOUR HOUSEHOLD – ALL must self-isolate for 10 days (from your first symptom or the positive test, whichever came first) as they may be / become infectious to others. No-one can leave or enter your house, even other members of your extended family or close friends!
What does this mean for the school?
Schools have to help NHS Test and Trace do their job. If there is a positive case we have to tell the Kent Health Protection Team who is the case and then they trust us to know that our staff will observe the self-isolation advice, guidance and rules / laws. We need to let them know when and if we get at case. We all must work together to limit transmissions so they do not spread into a full outbreak.
If you get a positive test result you must ring Stephen King on 07754 749691, to report your case to us. That we can close the right bubbles, contact the KHPT and advise you when you may return to work. If this phone is not answered, please send a text or leave a voice mail and we will contact you as soon as we can.
What if I get a positive test over Christmas when the school is / bubbles are all closed?
The school will still need to know so that they can contact the KHPT. We will have to contact your colleagues to inform them so that they can self-isolate. You must ring Stephen King on 07754 749691 – the phone will be left on all over the Christmas holidays, just in case.
Please be aware that YOUR Christmas plans may have to change if your bubble has a positive case during the holiday. You would still need to self-isolate as otherwise you could spread the virus to your extended family and friends!
How is this different to lockdown or tier 3 rules?
In lockdown and Tier 3 rules you are allowed to go out to exercise and go to the shops. IF YOU ARE SELF-ISOLATING ARE NOT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AT ALL – YOU MAY NEED FRIENDS OR FAMILY TO HELP YOU / YOUR FAMILY GET WHAT THEY NEED.
I was told to self-isolate because of a positive case in my household, can I go out of my house to help anyone else in my support bubble or to help out someone I normally care for?
No, if you are self-isolating you should not be leaving your house. You are all to stay in and monitor your symptoms.
What if the family I normally care for are also self-isolating with a positive case but they still need (my usual) help and support? I want to help them still, what can I do?
We would suggest that you urge them to contact their social worker, a temporary agency support package could be established by other people with full PPE protection. You too are self-isolating so should not leave your house. Someone else must help them.
If you are NOT self-isolating and normally provide essential care for them, you can provide your usual support IF you are wearing full PPE, as part of their normal support bubble. We would ask you to ensure that you keep yourself safe and consider whether you are putting the school (your main job), your colleagues and the children at risk by knowingly putting yourself at risk by choosing to be exposed to the coronavirus.
I am self-isolating as my bubble is closed due to contact with a positive case, can I do my second job?
No, if you are self-isolating you may have been infected, could be / become infectious and could spread the virus. You MUST stay at home FOR THE FULL 10 DAYS and isolate away from your family to stop the spread of COVID-19 in and out of your home.
IF YOU ARE AT HOME BECAUSE YOUR BUBBLE IS CLOSED DUE TO LOW STAFFING THAT IS NOT DUE TO A POSITIVE CASE OR AWAITING C-19 TEST RESULTS (E.G. DUE TO LOW STAFFING DUE TO OTHER TYPES OF ILLNESS) BUT YOU ARE WELL, YOU COULD / CAN DO YOUR SECOND JOB – THAT WOULD BE YOUR OWN CHOICE (AND NOTHING TO DO WITH SCHOOL). KEEP YOU SAFE.
What if I live on my own and have no one to bring me my shopping?
We hope that you have family, friends or neighbours who can help you. If we can, the school well help you. There are KCC and district volunteer services that can help you. You could organise an online food (or other) shopping delivery. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace they will let you know sources of support in your area.
NB: You can still get a (hot) meal delivery from Deliveroo / Just Eat / Uber Eats, delivered to your door via a contactless handover too!
I am self-isolating, can the people I live with still go to work or school?
i) If you are self-isolating and have not had a test or you get a negative result AND you have isolated away from them effectively in the home AND you have no symptoms, then yes they may carry on as normal but should monitor their health.
ii) If you have symptoms then you should get a test ASAP. If you have effectively isolated away from them then yes they could, but as you do not know the results, it may not wise to leave the house as they could potentially be asymptomatic! They could stay away from home and school (if they are allowed) until the results come in. Perhaps they could contact their work or school for advice on how they would want them to proceed. The guidance says yes they can attend.
iii) If you or some in your household has tested positive then no, all of your household must start to self-isolate together.
How long do I have to self-isolate for and why is it so long?
i) If YOU receive the positive test you need to self-isolate for 10 days from you first symptoms or your test date – whichever is earliest. You could have been infectious for 2-4 days prior to this! By day 11 you are statistically not infectious.
If you are still feeling ill / unwell, have a temperature or a cough on day 11 you should still not leave the house or return to work – you could potentially run the risk of spreading tiny amounts of residual virus that would not normally be spread, but are still in your body. You should only break isolation when you are well. The only symptom to have, where you CAN return to work or break isolation, is a loss or difference in the sense of taste or smell – this may take weeks or months to return; anosmia, although a symptom, does not run the risk of potentially spreading tiny amounts of residual virus. If you have no symptoms or test negative you still have to stay home for 10 days, you could be asymptomatic or carry live virus (yours or theirs) on you.
ii) If someone else in your bubble / household was positive but you never have symptoms, stay well and successfully isolate away from the others in your house you must still see out the full 10 days. You should stay home as you could be asymptomatic or carry the live virus (yours or theirs) on you, so could spread the virus to other people.
iii) If someone else in your bubble / household was positive but you get a test (either through feeling ill / symptomatic) you must still see out the full 10 days. You should stay home as you could have had had a false negative but yet be asymptomatic or carry the live virus on you, so could spread the virus. If you get a re-test positive later in the self-isolation period, it may be a positive one or you could become ill (with symptoms) right up to day 10.