Ministers announce programme of regular Covid-19 testing in schools | Newry Times

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Friday, March 19th, 2021
Coronavirus, News

Health Minister Robin Swann and Education Minister Peter Weir have announced a programme of regular testing for Covid-19 is to be introduced in schools in Northern Ireland.

 

Ministers announce programme of regular Covid-19 testing in schools - Newry Times news

 

Departmental officials will be liaising with the education sector in the coming days to discuss operational preparation and delivery with a view to rolling out the programme in the coming weeks.

 

 

Around one in three people who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading the disease without knowing it.

Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly and thus assisting in breaking chains of transmission of infection.

Initially, all post-primary staff (including teaching and support staff) and older students in Years 12-14 in schools and in Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) centres will be included in this programme of regular testing, which will use Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. 

Expansion of testing to other staff in primary and pre-school settings will be rolled out in later phases.

 

Is your blog or news page gathering dust? Northern Ireland freelance copywriter Paul Malone - Tall Paul Marketing

 

Health Minister Robin Swann said, “I am delighted to announce the expansion of our regular testing programme for staff and older pupils.

“This testing is important as an additional measure alongside the range of existing safety measures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and pupils in schools.

“Whilst the use of LFD tests is important as an additional measure, a negative LFD test result does not enable an individual to drop their guard and people should not change their behaviours.

“My Department is continuing to work with partners in government and industry on further expansion of our programme of regular asymptomatic testing which, alongside our vaccination and contact tracing programmes, will help balance the scales in our favour of success in the battle against Covid-19.”

 

 

Testing for schools’ staff and pupils will be twice-weekly three to four days apart using LFD tests. 

Older students in years 12-14 are included as the prevalence of Covid-19 tends to be higher among this group.

Education Minister Peter Weir said, “Today’s announcement is very welcome news and will provide a significant level of reassurance to schools, pupils and parents alike. 

“Initially, testing will be available to all staff in post-primary schools and pupils in years 12 to 14.

“The roll-out of this testing programme will provide reassurance for pupils and teachers that the risk of large groups of exam year classes having to isolate during this important period, will be considerably reduced.

“It has always been my preference that all pupils should be in the classroom to benefit from face to face teaching and I welcome the plan to roll out testing for Year 12-14  students as soon as practicable.”

Individuals who receive a positive result from an LFD test will have to isolate along with members of their households from the time of their positive LFD result.

 

 

A confirmation PCR test will be required for everyone who tests positive on LFD.

If the PCR test result is negative, the individual and their household can leave isolation and no further action is required.

If the PCR test result is positive the individual and their household and all other close contacts must complete a full 10 days of self-isolation.

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE.

 

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

-->

This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing editor@newrytimes.com

Log in