22 Feb 2021

St Helens Borough key workers are being urged to use the testing facilities in place to get tested before children go back to school, to help catch more Covid-19 cases before they spread.

Key or critical workers include NHS staff, police, teachers, farmers, and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work.

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for Wellbeing, Culture, and Heritage, said: “We're concerned about a recent rise of coronavirus cases in schools, so we’re asking parents to please keep their children home if they are unwell. 

“We know children tend to have milder coronavirus symptoms and catch the virus less easily than adults, but they can still spread the virus to others. As schools remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, we need to protect everyone these children and their teachers come into contact with. 

“Please do not send your children to school if they are unwell until they have had a negative COVID test result. Children can have COVID tests – it’s very quick and so very important.”

Sue Forster, Director of Public Health for St Helens Borough Council, said: “We are asking families to get themselves, and their children symptom-free tested before they return to school after half-term. This will help to prevent the transmission of the virus in our schools. There are three symptom-free testing sites in St Helens, operating seven days a week. During the lockdown, we are prioritising symptom-free testing for people who cannot work from home to help manage demand.

“If you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, it’s vital that you stay home and book a Covid test online or by calling 119.”

“It remains really important for everyone in your household to isolate if you are waiting for a test result, have received a positive result, or are advised to by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app. We need everyone to continue to follow the rules in order to bring the infection rates down in our community, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The three main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a persistent cough, or a change or loss of smell or taste. But there are some other symptoms that have been reported by people who have tested positive. For more information, visit: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/tests-for-people-with-symptoms/

If your child is unwell and you’re worried or you are not sure what to do, contact NHS 111 for advice. For children aged 5 or over, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. For children under 5, call 111.