Guidance issued from the DfE has advised that all close contacts of all Covid cases should take daily lateral flow tests for a week following contact in order to allow more students to remain in the classroom. The new guidance applies to all pupils between the age of five and 18 years and 6 months. It also states that fully vaccinated adults should also take lateral flow tests every day for a week instead of self-isolating. If a test was positive, then they would be advised to get a confirmatory PCR test. This new testing regimen applies regardless of whether the person was in contact with someone with the Omicron variant or not. Staff who are close contacts but are not ‘double-jabbed’ should isolate for ten days.
The DfE told heads in its email today that daily testing for Covid contacts will:
“help protect education settings by reducing transmission and will also help keep pupils in face-to-face education”
The impact of this may be challenging for schools as yesterday the portal for ordering lateral flow tests was declaring that there were no more available. Hopefully this will be rectified ready for the January return.