COVID - Lateral Flow Tests
Anthony Gell School are offering Lateral Flow tests to staff and students to those who have consent and have no coronovirus symptoms.
This is a national scheme - evidence suggests that up to one third of people who have coronovirus are asymptomatic (show no symptoms).
We are testing all staff and students who have completed the consent form. Students will remain in classes/bubbles to go for the test which will be carried out on site, in room T2. There are three methods of testing in school, which are:
- Student testing (when in school) in the first few days of returning to school, followed by a second test 3-5 days after the date of the first test.
- Staff testing (when in school) once a week on a designated day until further notice
- Any staff member or student identified as a close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 will be offered daily testing for 7 days. (The alternative option is to self isolate for 10 days).
How the tests work
Those taking the lateral flow test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. It is expected that most students and staff will be able to undertake the swab with only verbal support.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The school will inform the student of a positive test result. Where participants are under 16, parents/carers will also be informed. The student will also receive a text/email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system.
What if the test is positive?
We will notify the student so that we can move them to a safer area in the school to await collection. A parent/carer will be called by a member of school staff to collect their child. An NHS Test and Trace (PCR) test must be booked as soon as possible (same day, or within 24 hours) to confirm the result in school. At the time of writing this letter, the timescales for a result from a PCR test vary from 24 to 72 hours.
The household should isolate until the results of the PCR test are known. This result must be shared with the school so that if the test is positive, close contacts can be identified and isolated or begin their programme of daily testing. The school has a small stock of PCR test kits to perform at home if required and these can be used in exceptional circumstances.
What if the test is negative?
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in school and continue with their activities as normal. Students will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
What if staff/students have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the school. If close contacts agree to be tested each day for the required number of days (maximum period of 7 days), and they test negative every day, they will be allowed to remain in school. There may be instances where close contacts are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace. In this instance they should notify NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact through school and are participating in daily contact testing.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. We will support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions.