On Friday 1 April, the Government updated their guidance for ‘Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19’ and guidance for education settings.
With COVID-19 rates continuing to be high in the borough, Walsall Council’s Director of Public Health, Stephen Gunther, has written to all parents, carers and school staff on 4 April asking for:
- Any child, young person or staff member who is unwell and has a high temperature to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19.
- Wait at least 48 hours (about two days) after the symptoms have stopped before returning to work, school, college, or childcare.
- People who still have access to COVID-19 testing, either purchased or are using up remaining symptom-free tests (lateral flow devices) should stay at home if they are positive.
- Adults should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice is three days.
- Continue to adhere to COVID-secure measures in colleges, schools and nurseries and with childminders to continue to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health said,
“Walsall’s residents now have much stronger protection against COVID-19 than at any other stage in the pandemic. This means we can now try to start to manage the virus like other respiratory infections, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and access to antivirals, alongside increased understanding by everyone about how to manage risk.
“Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, or a high temperature or who feels unwell, are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.
“It might feel mild to you, but you could be putting other people at risk. The advice is to wait 48 hours, or around two days after symptoms have stopped before going out and about again.
“It is important they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature. Some symptoms like a cough, or loss or change to taste and smell can last longer. If you have prolonged symptoms associated with COVID-19, then please ask the NHS for further advice.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will provide the best defence and reduce your risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and Long COVID. Anyone aged 12 or over who has not already had their first dose, second dose or first booster is also very welcome to get these at the Saddlers Vaccination Centre or walk-in clinics.
“We can all reduce the risk of spreading COVID, and indeed other viruses, by adopting the safer behaviours we have learnt over the last two years. Simple measures such as letting fresh air in, washing your hands and wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces will also help to protect yourself and others.”
View the letter from the Director of Public Health.
Notes to editors
- If you have got lateral flow tests, use them to test before going into high-risk situations – like meeting people who are more vulnerable to the virus, or visiting a care home or someone in hospital.
- The full guidance on Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and can be found on the GOV.UK website.