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Managing an unwell child or staff member

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Staff members and children should not attend the service if unwell.

It is critical that any staff member or child who becomes unwell while at a service returns home. Staff members, or parents or carers should seek medical advice and not return to the service without a negative test result.

It is unlikely a staff member or child who is unwell with flu-like symptoms will have COVID-19. However services should follow these steps as a precaution while waiting for a parent or carer to collect their child or for the staff member to make arrangements to return home.

Isolate staff member or child experiencing compatible symptoms

Isolate staff or children experiencing compatible symptoms with COVID-19, such as fever, cough or sore throat in an appropriate, supervised space. Parents or carers should collect children as soon as possible. Staff members and children should seek medical advice and not return to the service without a negative test result.

Maintain hygiene and physical distancing

It is important to maintain hand hygiene and physical distancing.

Seek urgent medical advice if needed

Seek urgent medical advice where indicated. Consider calling an ambulance.

Contact parent or carer in the first instance

If a child is unwell, they should not be at the service. Contact a parent or carer to collect them as soon as possible and seek medical advice.

A trained staff member could take the temperature of the child, where appropriate, to support decision making, ensuring they wash their hands before and after.

Encourage unwell staff or parents and carers to seek medical advice

Encourage staff or children with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 to seek medical advice. A medical certificate is not required to return to an early childhood setting after a period of illness. However, once tested, staff and children must not return until they have received their negative test result and they have recovered.

Follow cleaning guidance and procedures

Follow cleaning Queensland Health cleaning requirements as well as the NHMRC's preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services. Services should be cleaning high-touch points such as door handles, benchtops and used pens. If a child spreads droplets, for example, by sneezing, coughing or vomiting, clean surfaces immediately with disinfectant wipes while wearing gloves.

More information

Download the Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19 flow-chart which includes the above steps, as well as the process for managing a confirmed case of COVID-19.

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Last updated 08 October 2020