Home testing option for parents and families.
Important information with regards to home testing and return to school.
The PM Boris Johnson announced all schools would reopen from 8 March as part of the roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions. Testing of secondary school age pupils was confirmed an essential part of the safe reopening of schools plan.
It was also announced that, from 1 March, there would be free 'click and collect' Covid-19 tests for families sending children back to school. Free tests will be provided to pupils’ households, as well as those in their childcare or support bubbles, regardless of whether anyone has symptoms.
How can families get hold of a testing kit?
The ‘click and collect’ scheme offers two rapid Covid-19 tests per person to households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college-age children, as well as school bus drivers and after-school club leaders.
You can find a site to collect from here https://find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
Or order a home delivery kit from here https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Is it the same kind of test that you are offered at an NHS testing centre?
No, schools will be offering Lateral Flow Test which are rapid tests that provide results within 30 minutes, without the need for any lab analysis. These are different to the tests carried out at NHS testing centres and called PCR tests.
Lateral Flow Tests or rapid tests follow these steps:
1. Swab taken from the nose or throat
2. Specimen added to the extraction test tube
3. Drops of extraction solution are added to the test cartridge
4. Wait 20-30 minutes and read results
What happens if a test is positive?
With a positive test, pupils will need to self isolate for the next 10 days and will learn remotely until they can return to class, unless of course they become too unwell to work. Schools are legally obliged to provide remote learning to any pupils who is self isolating. If a pupils tests positive, other members of their household need to isolate too. Anyone testing positive with a lateral flow test done at home needs to book a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at a local testing centre to confirm the result.