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Letter to parents from Public Health re Isolation

Dear Parents/Carers,


Given the very high and rising COVID-19 infection rates in schools alongside the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, I have provided additional local advice to Waltham Forest schools for the last few days of the school term. This is that schools are advised that all pupils with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their household should be asked not to attend school for the duration of the case’s isolation period. It is my judgement that this is an important local measure to slow the spread of cases amongst children and young people in Waltham Forest. This only applies to this school term.


If your child has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their household (i.e. in a sibling or parent/carer), your school has agreed that they should not attend school for the duration of the case’s isolation period (unless the child themselves has had a positive PCR result for COVID-19 within the previous 90 days). This advice applies to household contacts of all COVID-19 cases including Omicron cases. For information these absences will be coded as authorised and the school will support your child with remote learning during this period.


In addition to staying off school, the national guidance for close contacts of COVID-19 cases has changed to reduce the risk of spread to others. Anyone aged 5 years and over, who has been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate (because they are fully vaccinated or aged under 18.5 years), is now strongly advised to take a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days or until 10 days since their last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier. If any of these LFD tests are positive they should self-isolate in order to protect other people.

The public health advice for people with symptoms of, or a positive test result, for COVID-19 remains the same for everyone.

Yours sincerely,



Joe McDonnell

Director of Public Health, Waltham Forest

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