When a teacher or student tests positive for COVID-19, their classmates must now take rapid-response tests for 7 days instead of 10, according to Public Health guidelines released earlier this week.
The announcement from Cayman Islands health officials focusses on reduced isolation requirements for COVID-positive people, and the body of the press release doesn’t mention schoolchildren.
However a sidebar accompanying the press release states that, “If a primary contact is a negative, unvaccinated child (under 18 years of age), they should conduct daily lateral flow tests (LFT) for 7 days. They can attend school if daily LFT results continue to be negative.”
The government’s guidance documents for parents and schools have not been updated online as of Friday morning,
Here are the current rules for COVID testing for students:
- Children under the age of 2: No testing required. If they are feeling unwell, they should stay out of school until they no longer have symptoms.
- Children under the age of 5: Regular twice-weekly LFT testing. If a student or teacher tests positive, classmates should continue with the twice-weekly testing. (No 7-day surveillance period.)
- Children 5-17: Optional twice-weekly LFT testing. If a student or teacher tests positive, classmates take LFTs daily for 7 days.
- Vaccinated children who test positive: Isolate at home for 6 days. Negative PCR test required before returning to school.
- Unvaccinated children who test positive: Isolate at home for 9 days. Negative PCR test required before returning to school.