Britain’s School Covid Test Plan Already In ‘Chaos’

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Britain’s School Covid Test Plan Already In ‘Chaos’.

Headteachers have warned that the government’s mass Covid testing programme has been thrown into “chaos” after a medical regulator cast doubt over the plan to keep close contacts of the people with the virus in schools. The Department for Education has told schools that rapid lateral flow tests can be used to keep close contacts of confirmed Covid cases in school if they test negative rather than asking them to self isolate.

However, a statement from the Medicine Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says it recommends that close contacts of known Covid cases continue to self-isolate. The DfE has asked schools to give daily serial tests to close contacts of Covid cases for seven days and to keep them in school if the results are negative.

Scientists and public health directors have already warned against using the rapid Covid tests in this way because of concerns that it will provide false negatives results resulting in people with Covid staying in school. The regulator put out a statement today which said that this Innova test can be used under trained supervision in a school setting and that this does not need its approval.

However, the MHRA also said that it has not approved the use of the test as self-test device for ‘serial testing’ for school pupils who have been exposed to a confirmed positive Covid case “that would enable them to attend school as normal”.

It adds: “The MHRA continues to advise that close contacts of positive cases identified using the self-test device continue to self-isolate in line with current guidelines. Discussions with Test and Trace regarding any future exceptional use cases are ongoing.”


 

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Tony Winterburn

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