31st March 2021
Dear parents and carers,
Update from Public Health
Please find updates from Public Health on testing kits for families, how to book tests and how to claim support payments.
Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week
A reminder that regular rapid testing is now also available for parents, their households and support or childcare bubbles. The government is encouraging all families to participate in twice weekly testing to help stop the spread.
Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by:
- Ordering tests online gov.uk/order-school-household-tests
- Getting an assisted test at work, if it is available
- Attending a test site to be tested (where you will be able to see how to take the test) or pick up tests to do at home.
To find out more on school household testing visit Households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools and colleges: get rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
COVID-19 Community Testing Facilities
Due to ongoing changes with the nationally run COVID-19 community testing facilities, Public Health are advising people not to attend symptomatic testing facilities without an appointment at the moment to reduce the risk of them attending at a time when the type of testing they require is not available.
Community Testing for people with symptoms or requiring a confirmatory PCR
To book an appointment for a PCR test if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have had a positive LFD home test you should visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 and book an appointment at a local, mobile or regional testing facility.
Community Testing for people without symptoms
Community on-site testing for people without symptoms is run by Cheshire West and Chester Council. You do not need an appointment to get tested but you may need to queue when you arrive. Information about these testing sites can be found here: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/news-and-views/incidents/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-testing/testing-without-symptoms.aspx
Household Home Testing Kits for people without symptoms
Household home testing kits can be collected from certain community testing sites at specific times of the day (at these times the site will not offer symptomatic testing). If someone lives in a household with an individual who attends or works in education and they would like to collect a home testing kit they should use the following link to check the opening times and location of the collection centre: https://find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
Test and Trace support payment for parents
Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by district and unitary local authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.
Parents and carers should apply to their local authority to receive a payment. Applications for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are made via the local authority in which the parent or carer resides (Cheshire West and Chester), not the local authority where the setting is situated, if these are different.
To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria that:
- They are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
- They are employed or self-employed
- They cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
- They meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment
That their child or young person:
- Is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
- Has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
When students are required to isolate, school will provide a letter which details the child’s name and date of self-isolation, to all parents or carers of the children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Parents or carers will then be able to provide this letter to their local authority as evidence that their child is required to self-isolate.
Once an application for a payment has been received, Cheshire West and Chester will be in touch with school to verify the details of the child provided on the application. This will include a check of the child’s name, age, address and days of self-isolation. This check is to minimise the event of fraudulent claims. It may be conducted before or after a payment is made, depending on the arrangements the individual local authority has chosen to put in place.
Testing at Home
Following the supervised tests in school, students have now moved to twice weekly, rapid COVID-19 testing at home. Up to 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing. Getting into a regular habit of testing twice a week will help stop the virus spreading, keeping your family and friends safer.
COVID-19 testing kits have been given to all students this week. Please make sure your child tests themselves twice a week 3-5 days apart, in the morning before school if possible and, if not, the evening before, on a Monday and Thursday.
Your child should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter school holiday and we have sent home extra kits to cover the Easter holiday.
This does not replace testing for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.
It is really important that results of test are reported online straight away, even if your child’s result is negative or void. It is easy to do at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm.
It is important to keep a note of your child’s results and share with school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue to encourage everyone to take part in regular Covid-19 testing.
May I thank you for your support this term. I wish you all the best for the Easter break and look forward to students returning on Monday 19th April.
Mrs Rachel Hudson