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Recommendations for safe attendance at school and early childhood education and care

If a person has symptoms of respiratory infection, they are not to attend early childhood education and care, school or go to their place of work until they have tested negative for coronavirus.

Anyone with the slightest symptoms shall get tested for coronavirus. If the test result is negative and symptoms are clearly decreasing, attendance to early childhood education or school may be resumed, even if the symptoms have not completely cleared up. However, contact with others has to be avoided until one gets the test result. If the symptoms have cleared up and the child is well, he or she can attend early childhood education or school, even if the test result is not ready yet. If the symptoms reoccur or increase, it is important to get tested again.

If a member of the family of the child or staff has symptoms, the person with the symptoms has to get tested as soon as possible.  The family members, who do not have symptoms, may attend early childhood education and school while waiting for their test result, unless there is a strong reason to believe that the symptomatic family member is infected with coronavirus; such a situation could be, for instance, that the family member with symptoms is ordered into quarantine by the authorities.

If the symptoms are caused by an allergy and clearly decrease once allergy medication has been started, attendance at early childhood education or school may be resumed, in spite of some ongoing symptoms. If the symptoms do not clear up with the medication, the symptomatic person needs to be tested. If the test result is negative, attendance at early childhood education or school may be resumed.

Those children, who have a pre-existing condition and are susceptible to serious infections, are in the risk group for severe coronavirus infection. The attending physician shall determine whether a child, or a child’s family member, with a severe pre-existing condition or who is treated with immunosuppressive medication therapy, can attend contact teaching or early childhood education.

As for a pupil’s non-attendance, the school’s normal absence practices will apply. Permission for non-attendance has to be applied, and the school will then decide, if there are grounds for granting the permission. A guardian shall notify the school of a pupil’s absence due to  illness as soon as possible. If necessary, this guideline will be further detailed in accordance with instructions by the health care personnel regarding, for instance, clinically vulnerable people and their family members. Normal pupil welfare procedures shall be followed for long-term absences.

If a child falls ill during the day, he or she will be immediately removed to an isolated area under the supervision of an adult to wait for the parent. The adult will avoid close contact with the child and stays at a sufficient distance.

A person with coronavirus infection must stay away from school or early childhood education usually for a minimum of 14 days from when the symptoms started, for longer if necessary, so that he or she has been asymptomatic at least for two days before going back to school or early childhood education.

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If you suspect you have coronavirus, read the information