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.”
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.