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NEWS: COVID-19 Testing for children in Wales / Profion COVID-19 i blant

Darllenwch hyn yn Gymraeg yma.  Read this in Welsh here

Updated: 12 October 2021

The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language has announced that it is no longer recommended that children under the age of 5 years old take COVID-19 tests without symptoms in Wales.

Where children under 5 do have symptoms tests are not routinely recommended unless directed to do so by a doctor or if parents believe a test is absolutely necessary and in the best interests of the child. However symptomatic children under 5 should not attend a childcare setting until their symptoms have resolved.

This announcement and details of testing changes for secondary aged school pupils can be found here

These changes will formally come into effect from Monday 11 October.

Welsh Government have updated the Guidance for childcare and playwork: coronavirus, the Action cards and the FAQs for parents with further information.

They have also provided us with the following to share following queries raised:

'Children under 5, like all children under 18, are not required to isolate when identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, including where they are a household contact.  Up until now where children under 5 were identified as close contacts, then like everyone else they were able to access the offer of PCR tests on day 2 and 8 even when they showed no symptoms.  From Monday 11 October the policy is to no longer recommend that children under 5 take those tests where they are a close contact; and as they are not required to isolate that means they can continue attending school and childcare.

Where a child under 5 displays any of the cardinal symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste or smell), it is no longer recommended that they need to take a PCR test. This is because many young children have these symptoms, and particularly upper respiratory symptoms but the evidence indicates that most of these are caused by other winter viruses, and the small number of young children testing positive for COVID-19 are unlikely to pass it on to others. The guidance on testing states that they can access a PCR test when a clinician says they should, or if their parent or guardian has particular concerns, but otherwise they are not expected to.  Instead, it would be advisable for a child under 5 with any of these symptoms and particularly respiratory symptoms (including a new cough) to stay home until they are well enough to return to school or childcare.  That may well be sooner than the 10 day isolation period for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.  They do not need to self-isolate for 10 days. The persistence of a simple cough after the child is better in themselves is NOT a reason to stay home. 

The aim of this change is to maintain COVID-19 safety as well as minimise disruption for children, and avoid the need for young children to undergo what is an unpleasant test for them.  Recently there has been a four to five fold increase in the volume of tests taken by the under 5’s, but the prevalence in this group has remained low.  As we understand more about COVID-19 we know that children suffer less with COVID-19 and are less likely to pass on to others and so this change does not pose any increasing risk to staff or other children.  

Within this age group you will always see a number of children with coughs, temperatures, runny noses and some of the other symptoms associated with COVID-19.  At this time of year you see even more of them, with seasonal colds and flu.  This year we are also seeing more cases of RSV and other viruses, consequently while it is advisable for a sick child to remain at home until they are better, it would be unreasonable to assume every onset of a cough or runny nose was COVID-19.  This age group has consistently had the lowest rates of COVID-19, and the change in advice reflects both our improving understanding of the virus, and the reduced risks to public health as a consequence of the vaccination programme. Obviously where there are particular risks to specific children or staff with underlying health conditions settings should take these into account and discuss them with parents.

We appreciate that there has been confusion regarding the change. We are working with Education and Testing colleagues to resolve this and communicate key messages to schools and settings to avoid children losing any more provision than is necessary.'

If you have any queries, please email paceycymru@pacey.org.uk

Wedi'i ddiweddaru: 12 Hydref 2021

Cyhoeddodd y Gweinidog Addysg a’r Gymraeg, na fyddwn yn argymhellir pellach i blant o dan 5 oed cael profion COVID-19 heb symptomau.

Os mae’r plentyn dan 5 oed yn cael symptomau, ni fydd profion yn cael eu hargymell fel mater o drefn oni bai bod meddyg yn cyfarwyddo i wneud hynny neu os yw rhieni'n credu bod prawf yn hollol angenrheidiol ac er budd gorau'r plentyn.  Ni ddylai plant symptomatig o dan 5 oed fynd i leoliad gofal plant tan bod eu symptomau wedi mynd.

Mae'r cyhoeddiad hwn a newidiadau manylion profi i ddisgyblion ysgolion uwchradd i'w gweld yma.

Bydd y newidiadau’n dod i rym yn ffurfiol o ddydd Llun 11 Hydref ymlaen.

Diweddarodd Llywodraeth Cymru y Canllawiau gofal plant a gwaith chwarae: coronafirws, y Cardiau Gweithredu a'r Cwestiynau Cyffredin i rieni gyda gwybodaeth bellach.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi dweud:

'Nid yw'n ofynnol i blant o dan 5 oed, nac yn wir o dan 18 oed, ynysu ar ôl bod mewn cysylltiad agos â rhywun â COVID-19, gan gynnwys yn y cartref. Hyd yma, pan nodwyd bod plant o dan 5 oed yn gysylltiadau agos, yna fel pawb arall roeddent yn gallu cael profion PCR ar ddiwrnod 2 ac 8 hyd yn oed pan nad oeddent yn dangos unrhyw symptomau. O ddydd Llun 11 Hydref ymlaen, y polisi yw na argymhellir bod plant dan 5 oed bellach yn cymryd y profion hynny pan fyddant yn gyswllt agos; ac oherwydd nad yw'n ofynnol iddynt ynysu, mae hynny'n golygu y gallant barhau i fynychu'r ysgol neu leoliad gofal plant.

Pan fydd plentyn o dan 5 oed yn arddangos unrhyw un o brif symptomau COVID-19 (tymhered uchel, peswch parhaus newydd, diffyg gallu i flasu neu aroglu), ni argymhellir bellach bod angen iddynt gael prawf PCR. Mae hyn oherwydd bod gan lawer o blant ifanc y symptomau hyn, ac yn enwedig symptomau anadlol uchaf ond mae'r dystiolaeth yn dangos bod y mwyafrif o'r rhain yn cael eu hachosi gan firysau gaeaf eraill, ac mae'r nifer fach o blant ifanc sy'n profi'n bositif am COVID-19 yn annhebygol o'i drosglwyddo i eraill. Mae'r canllawiau ar brofion yn nodi y gallant gael prawf PCR pan fydd clinigydd yn dweud bod angen hynny, neu os oes gan eu rhieni neu warcheidwaid bryderon penodol, ond fel arall nid oes disgwyl iddynt gael prawf. Yn hytrach, byddai'n ddoeth i blentyn o dan 5 oed sydd â unrhyw un o’r symptomau hyn ac yn enweidig symptomau anadlol (gan gynnwys peswch newydd) aros adref nes eu bod yn ddigon da i ddychwelyd i'r ysgol neu leoliad gofal plant. Mae'n ddigon posibl y bydd hynny'n gynt na'r cyfnod ynysu o 10 diwrnod i berson sydd wedi profi'n bositif am COVID-19. Nid oes angen iddynt hunanynysu am 10 diwrnod. Nid yw peswch syml ar ôl i'r plentyn fod yn well ynddo'i hun yn rheswm i aros adref.

Nod y newid hwn yw cynnal diogelwch COVID-19 yn ogystal â tharfu cyn lleied ag y bo modd ar blant, ac osgoi'r angen i blant ifanc gael prawf annymunol. Yn ddiweddar, bu cynnydd o bedair i bum gwaith yn nifer y profion a gymerwyd gan y rhai dan 5 oed, ond mae nifer yr achosion yn y grŵp hwn wedi aros yn isel. Gan ein bod bellach yn deall mwy am COVID-19, gwyddom fod plant yn dioddef llai ac yn llai tebygol o’i drosglwyddo i eraill, felly nid yw'r newid hwn yn peri unrhyw risg uwch i staff na phlant eraill. 

O fewn y grŵp oedran hwn byddwch bob amser yn gweld nifer o blant â pheswch, tymheredd uchel, trwynau sy'n rhedeg a rhai o'r symptomau eraill sy'n gysylltiedig â COVID-19.  Ar yr adeg hon o'r flwyddyn fe welwch fwy fyth ohonynt, gydag annwyd tymhorol a ffliw. Eleni rydym hefyd yn gweld mwy o achosion o RSV a feirysau eraill, ac o ganlyniad, er y byddai'n ddoeth i blentyn sâl aros gartref nes ei fod yn well, byddai'n afresymol tybio mai COVID-19 sy’n gyfrifol am bob achos o beswch neu drwyn sy'n rhedeg. Y grŵp oedran hwn sydd â'r cyfraddau isaf o COVID-19 yn gyson, ac mae'r newid i’r cyngor yn adlewyrchu ein dealltwriaeth well o'r feirws, a'r risgiau is i iechyd y cyhoedd o ganlyniad i'r rhaglen frechu. Yn amlwg, lle mae risgiau penodol i blant neu staff penodol sydd â chyflyrau iechyd eisoes, dylid ystyried y rhain a'u trafod gyda’r rhieni.

Rydym yn sylweddoli bod dryswch wedi bod ynglŷn â'r newid. Rydym yn gweithio gyda chydweithwyr Addysg a Phrofion i ddatrys hyn a chyfleu negeseuon allweddol i ysgolion a lleoliadau er mwyn osgoi gweld plant yn colli mwy o ddarpariaeth na’r hyn sy'n angenrheidiol.'

Am unrhyw ymholiadau eraill, e-bostiwch paceycymru@pacey.org.uk