Dear school members, please see below.
Key messages on Asymptomatic Testing in secondary (including middle) schools and colleges (as of 20.01.2021)
Please be aware that national guidance from the DfE is being changed and updated frequently; the local authority Public Health Team will continue to update information and messages to support settings in response to this.
- Secondary schools and colleges should now be offering rapid, initial Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) to all vulnerable children and children of critical workers (Years 7+) who are on school and college sites: 2 tests only, 3-5 days apart
- This is a one-off for pupils, and once pupils have had their initial tests, they do not need to be tested subsequently on a weekly basis. Settings should be aware that if they use tests in this way, they may not have sufficient tests for when schools re-open for all pupils
- All staff who attend secondary school and college sites should currently be offered 2 tests on their initial return to the setting – tests 3-5 days apart – and then an LFT every week on an ongoing basis
- Pupils and members of staff will not need to have an LFT, or PCR test if they have tested positive within the previous 90 days
- Where a positive case is identified by an LFT in a school/college setting, all identified close contacts, and household members of that positive case should immediately be advised to self-isolate for 10 days from the last date of contact with the positive case
- A confirmatory PCR test is currently required following all positive LFTs
- If a positive LFT is subsequently confirmed as negative by a PCR test, the individual, their household and close contacts can stop self-isolating
- All positive cases (LFT or PCR) in staff and pupils who attend the setting will need to be reported to the Local Authority by completing the relevant online form. Settings should not wait for a confirmatory PCR result before notifying the LA of a positive LFT result and should initiate contact tracing immediately
- Settings are not required to report positive cases for staff and young people who are not currently attending the setting
For additional information, please see the DfE’s blog ‘Pausing daily contact testing and self-isolation of pupils and teachers: your questions
Posted: 25th January 2021