Home Covid tests rolled out for Northants primary school staff

Primary school staff have two lateral flow tests a week to use

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 10:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 10:08 am

County primary school staff have received their lateral flow tests and will be able to use them twice a week at home before heading for the classroom.

All state-funded schools have had a delivery of the tests that will give a result in 30 minutes after a self-swab, helping to identify anyone who is not showing Covid symptoms but could be infectious.

Using a swab from the throat and the nose, the lateral flow device detects an antigen that is produced when a person is infected with Covid-19 - if this antigen is present, then a coloured strip on the LFD will appear to show a positive result similar to a home pregnancy test.

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All Saints CE Primary School and Nursery Unit in Wellingborough received their consignment of tests last week with training taking place for all staff.

Headteacher Emma Johnson said: "After training all of the staff on Monday, we will be operational from Tuesday. We start the process of twice-weekly testing of the staff with the lateral flow devices, which we became aware of last week.

"The last few months we have had the normal challenges of dealing with cases of Covid and then the moving to online learning swiftly, with no real notice form the government.

"All of the staff at All Saints are in school working and we have around 30 per cent of the school population attending the provision in school while the rest are based at home working remotely accessing the learning through Google Classroom and joining live sessions with the class teacher."

Lateral Flow Tests give a result in 30 minutes and can be done from home

The twice-weekly tests will give a result in around 30 minutes with staff having to report their result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed.

Staff have been asked to share their result with their school or nursery to help with contact tracing.

A spokesman for NCC Covid Education Cell said: "Any state-funded school will receive home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing kits for their staff.

"The Department for Education's intention was for them to be available for staff to use this week and for these tests to be completed by staff every three to five days.

"The home test kits for primary school staff are different from the devices available to secondary schools and FE colleges.

"They work on exactly the same principle, however the latter are designed to be processed and read by staff in the school testing centre, whereas the home testing kits are designed to be read by the individual at home before they come in to school."

The Department for Education said: "Testing is not mandatory for staff and staff do not need to provide proof of a negative test result to attend school or nursery in person, although participation in testing is strongly encouraged.

"Staff with a positive LFD test result will need to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance.

"They will also need to arrange a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result. Staff with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend school or nursery and use protective measures.

"The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the current testing policy for those with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms (even if they recently had a negative LFD test result), should still self-isolate immediately according to government guidelines.

"Those with symptoms are also expected to order a test online or visit a test site to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to check if they have the virus."