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Guidance for parents of close contacts

Guidance for parents/guardians of children identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

If your child has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you should be extra vigilant for symptoms as they may be at risk of developing COVID-19. Please follow this advice, even if they don’t currently have symptoms, as they could spread the virus to others.

If your child has recently tested positive for COVID-19 this advice is not applicable and they must adhere to their Direction Notice. There is no requirement for a COVID-19 positive person to follow the 7 day close contact lateral flow device testing mentioned below.

If they have no COVID-19 symptoms, they are not required to self-isolate or have a PCR test. Instead, they are strongly encouraged to take part in a free seven-day home testing scheme. Home test kits – called lateral flow devices (LFD) – are available in packs of six, free of charge. These kits are available from participating pharmacies across the Island or you can order a LFD online. Please contact your local pharmacy to see if they have kits available and any collection restrictions they have in place.

As your child is a close contact they are encouraged to test themselves every day for seven days from when they are identified as a close contact. If your LFD test is a negative result, you do not need to upload this to the LFD Online Reporting system.

Your child should continue to attend school unless your child’s LFD test is a positive result, or they develop symptoms. In this situation they should immediately isolate and report the LFD test result online, or if symptomatic you can book a PCR test online or by calling 111. If the PCR test comes back as positive, or your child has a positive LFD test result, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the test. If they receive a negative LFD test result during the 10 days and a further negative LFD test result at least 24 hours later then they will be able to leave isolation early. Please note, you must wait a full 24 hours after reporting their first negative LFD test result, before reporting their second negative LFD test result.

Frequently asked questions

What are the COVID-19 symptoms?

  • a temperature of more than 37.8C (100F)
  • OR, a new and persistent cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • OR, anosmia – this is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked
  • OR, a new shortness of breath

What is meant by a contact?

A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others.

A high-risk (close) contact is any person who has had one or more of the following exposures:

  • having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case within two metres for more than a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period (even if not consecutive)
  • having had physical contact with a COVID-19 case
  • having had direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (for example by being coughed on)
  • being in a closed or confined environment, especially without good ventilation (household, classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with a COVID-19 case for more than 15 minutes
  • travelling together with a COVID-19 case in any mode of transport for more than 15 minutes, especially without good ventilation
  • a healthcare worker or other person who was providing care to a COVID-19 case, or laboratory workers who were handling specimens from a COVID-19 case, without recommended personal protective equipment or with a possible breach of such equipment or hand hygiene.

My child has been identified as a close contact, do I need to do a LFD test?

It is good practice for people to check themselves using a lateral flow test device (LFD test) around twice a week as many as 1:3 people are infected but have no symptoms of COVID-19 so can pass it on to others without knowing. People with symptoms should isolate and book a PCR test as this is more accurate when you have symptoms.

Please note, if your child is in Primary School, they are not expected to use LFD tests regularly. They are only encouraged to do so if they are a close contact.

Can my child attend a hospital appointment?

Please refer to the latest Hospital Visiting Policy or contact the relevant hospital department by contacting the hospital switchboard on 650000.

Please be aware that an exception will apply for anyone needing emergency treatment.

Can my child attend their COVID-19 vaccination appointment?

If they have any COVID-19 symptoms they should be isolating and therefore cannot attend a vaccination appointment. If they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms then it is best practice not to attend a vaccination appointment as they could be incubating Covid-19.

You can rearrange their vaccination appointment by calling 111 or emailing vaccinations@gov.im

Can my child attend any other appointments?

Please contact the relevant service and inform them you have been identified as a close contact to seek clarification on whether you need to rearrange the appointment.

If I am eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and haven’t had it yet but want to now, what do I do?

You can register to have the vaccine at any time please visit the website and complete the online Vaccination Registration or call 111.

Can my child attend school?

Yes – your child should continue to attend school unless they are symptomatic or return a positive LFD test.

 

Useful links

The Department for Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) has been working closely with Public Health Isle of Man and with head teachers to ensure a number of proportionate measures are in place to reduce risk. Refer to the back to school safely guidance to review the mitigations in place.

Understand how your personal data is processed by Contact Tracing and why.

 

Community Support and information line: 686262.

The above number is for non-medical calls and queries.

 

COVID Line: 111 (from a local line) or +44 (0) 1624 822111 (from an international number).

The above numbers are for medical calls, in the event of experiencing symptoms, and permission to attend health settings.