Secondary pupils and families urged to continue Covid-19 testing over the summer holidays

Health / Mon 26th Jul 2021 at 11:40am

THE Director for Public Health in Essex is calling on secondary pupils and their families to continue Covid-19 testing over the summer holidays to help Keep Covid in Check.

As schools break up across Essex, the county’s Director for Public Health – Dr Mike Gogarty – is asking all secondary school pupils, their families and staff to continue doing regular rapid Lateral Flow Tests throughout the summer holidays to help Keep Covid in Check.

School communities have made a fantastic effort this past year to keep any infections under control by testing themselves twice a week.

Continued testing over the summer holidays will help to manage and monitor any potential outbreaks and ensure there is a smooth transition into the new school year from September.

Essex County Council is also encouraging those students who are starting Secondary School in September to test themselves regularly during the school holidays so that they get used to regular testing.

Families of primary school age children are also encouraged to continue testing over the holidays, as well as bringing the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine forward to eight weeks.

Dr Mike Gogarty said: “Now restrictions have been lifted, we’ll undoubtedly continue to see a rise in Covid-19 cases. That’s why it’s essential that everyone continues to be cautious and take sensible steps, such as regularly testing and bringing forward their second Covid-19 vaccine.

“It’s really important for young people to relax and have fun this summer because pupils have been through a lot this past year. However we need to remain sensible so that they can have a positive start to the new school year.

“We’re asking everyone, not just school communities, to carry on testing so we can Keep Covid in Check.”

Nick Hutchings, Headteacher at Hamilton Primary School in Colchester said: “As we break for the summer, I would like to ask parents and carers to continue to do rapid tests during the holiday period as this will really support schools when children return in September.

“Although restrictions are easing, the infection rate is still rising and testing will support the school community in acting swiftly in the case of someone who is asymptomatic when they return to school.

“The DfE guidance for schools has lessened the impact of a positive Covid-19 case, as bubbles will not close, but the infection will still be able to spread if you are a carrier without symptoms. Please support your school and continue to test.”

Testing is free, quick, easy, and ensures you’re not unknowingly spreading Covid-19.

Testing is a key line of defence against the spread of Covid-19. With other protective measures such as face coverings and social distancing no longer legally required, testing regularly is even more important.

It’s the only way to know if you have Covid-19 and make sure you don’t spread it to friends and family. As many as 1 in 3 people do not show any symptoms so self-testing can detect these hidden cases and keep everyone safe.

Rapid tests are free and can be collected from libraries and pharmacies across Essex. Alternatively, residents can order self-tests online. Everyone should record their result online, regardless of what it is, by following the instructions in the test kit.

If someone develops symptoms, they should order a different type of test (a PCR test) or call 111, and self-isolate immediately

Residents can read more about how to stay safe now restrictions have eased, as well as the Government’s Covid-19 response this summer and what it means for them.

More information about the support available to Essex residents and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic can be found on ECC’s Coronavirus Hub.

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