Common Cold and COVID-19 Symptoms

Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director

To Parents / Carers

31 August 2020
Common Cold and COVID-19 Symptoms
I understand these last few months have often been challenging, particularly for parents and carers. Now that schools and nurseries have returned I am writing to provide some advice where a child or young person in your care presents with symptoms of the common cold or similar bugs during this pandemic.
Following the return of schools after a prolonged break, it is common for colds and similar viral infections to circulate. In many cases, children will be well enough to attend school and continue their learning with little or no interruption to their education. In other cases, for instance where they have quite a heavy cold, they may need to take a day or two off to recover.
This is not the case for children and young people with potential COVID-19 symptoms, they are required to self-isolate and seek a test through or by calling 0800 028 2816.
In order to ensure your children do not miss out on their education, it is important to be clear about how COVID-19 symptoms differ from those of other infections that we normally see circulating at this time of year.
COVID-19 Symptoms
It is important that all of us – including those who make up the community around a school – are vigilant for the symptoms of COVID-19 and understand what actions we should take if someone develops them, either at school or at home.
The main symptoms to be aware of are:
 new continuous cough
 fever/high temperature
 loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste

Coronavirus – Jason Leitch Letter on testing and common colds – 31 August 2020

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