NEW Covid safety advice has been issued to schools in Cumbria with children accounting for the majority of new cases in the county.

Guidance issued by Colin Cox, Cumbria's director of public health, focuses on younger children.

In the week ending October 1, the 12 to 18 age group accounted for the biggest number of new cases of the virus in the county followed by the five to 11 group.

Parents of children aged four and under are advised to stay at home for five days if anyone in their household tests positive for Covid-19.

Mr Cox said in a letter to parents and carers: "Children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18+6 months are advised to stay at home if anyone in their household tests positive for COVID-19 (via either a PCR or Lateral Flow test).

"Five days following the onset of symptoms in the household contact who has tested positive (or test date if the positive case had no symptoms), the close contact young person should get a

PCR test.

"If this is negative, they can return to the school, but should isolate again immediately and get another test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 later.

"Children and young people in this situation can be released from this self-isolation guidance and can continue to attend the setting while they are waiting for their PCR result if they conduct daily Lateral Flow tests, and these remain negative.

"If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, or receive a positive Lateral Flow test result, they should immediately isolate and get a PCR test.

"This approach is likely to be the norm for secondary school pupils, but it is also an option for primary school pupils if the parents/carers and school are in agreement."

The groups exempt from this advice include any child or young person who has had at least one dose of the vaccine more than 14 days ago, any child or young person who has tested positive for Covid-19 themselves via a PCR test, within the past 90 days or where there are significant concerns about the impact of exclusion on the child or young person and a risk assessment indicates that the risks of exclusion to the individual child outweigh the wider benefits.