Rapid testing of school's staff and children of keyworkers begins

Mount Grace is testing those attending school for Coronavirus. 

Mount Grace is testing those attending school for Coronavirus. - Credit: Mount Grace

A Potters Bar Secondary School began weekly COVID-19 testing of staff and keyworker students last week.

Mount Grace is using one of the science laboratories as its testing centre, while several members of staff have been trained in how to assist students to use the lateral-flow tests.

Nancy Simpson, headteacher at Mount Grace, said: "This is another useful tool for reducing the risk of infection amongst staff and students. By testing, we will help stop the virus spread and keep our school open as safely as possible.

"Although school is only currently open for keyworker children and vulnerable students in compliance with Government lockdown rules, the school decided to go ahead with the testing programme anyway to keep staff and students as safe as possible.

Mount Grace is testing those attending school for Coronavirus. 

Mount Grace is testing those attending school for Coronavirus. - Credit: Mount Grace

"This will be ramped up as more students are allowed back into school. In the meantime, teachers are working hard to run remote learning for all year groups following their usual timetables, using a variety of tools including Google Classroom."

Results for lateral flow tests are available about half an hour after the test has been carried out. In validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England these tests were shown to be as reliable in identifying a case as PCR tests.

The tests have lower sensitivity but are better at picking up cases when a person has a higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter