Increase in virus testing welcome news to Suffolk primary schools
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Primary school teachers in Suffolk have welcomed increased coronavirus testing as a way of relieving anxiety for staff.
Under revised rules, the Government has suggested that all primary school teachers be tested for the virus twice a week with what is known as lateral flow tests.
The tests are designed to detect the virus in people who show no outward symptoms but could be contagious.
Secondary schools were recommended to begin testing at the start of the school term but for many primary schools testing will begin next week.
Mark Krisson, headteacher at Woodbridge Primary School, said that increased testing would definitely be welcomed.
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“We welcome anything that’s going to help prevent the spread of the virus,” said Mr Krisson.
“Any way of protecting the staff and community.”
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Mr Krisson said that the testing would also help relieve anxiety for staff.
Anna Hennell-James, chief executive officer at the Orwell Multi Academy Trust which runs a number of primary schools in the Ipswich area also welcomed the new tests.
"I welcome the supply of LFD tests for staff in primary schools, both as a means of identifying asymptomatic staff and so helping to break the chain of transmission, and also to give staff some reassurance,” said Mrs Hennell-James.
"Our schools will be following the guidance and staff will take the tests 3 – 5 days apart. At this stage I am not sure that more frequent testing would provide any more reassurance, as my understanding is that it can take time for the viral load to be at sufficient levels to give a positive test result, and therefore more regular testing would probably just result in more negative tests."
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, which runs a number of primary schools across Suffolk said: “We welcome being provided with Covid tests so our primary school staff can be tested twice a week. We expect deliveries to start next week.
“We know that some who have the virus do not show any symptoms.
"So having the opportunity to find those without symptoms, and ensure they self-isolate to avoid passing on the virus, is a very helpful step.”