Weekly Covid tests available for families of school and college students

High school student taking notes from book while wearing face mask due to coronavirus emergency. You

Families with school and college age children are encouraged to get twice weekly Covid tests. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Families with children at school and college are being encouraged to get rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week to prevent the spread of the virus.

Around a third of people with coronavirus show no symptoms, and regular testing will mean more positive cases are detected and prevented from entering educational settings.

Secondary school and college students will now be tested twice a week - with the three initial tests at school or college before switching to twice weekly home testing.

Primary school children will not be regularly tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children.

When schools and colleges reopen on Monday, families with school and college age children, and those in childcare and support bubbles are encouraged to get twice weekly tests. 

North Somerset Council’s community testing centres at Hutton Moor, in Weston, Scotch Horn, in Nailsea, and Somerset Hall, in Portishead, can be used by people not receiving regular tests through their work.

The centres are open seven days a week from 8.30am-5.30pm with late opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The Government has also announced it will start offering home testing kits to make it easier for people without coronavirus symptoms to get tested. 

North Somerset Council executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “Our community testing centres have been up and running for anyone who lives or works in North Somerset, and we’ve particularly encouraged people who have been unable to work from home during lockdown to get regular tests.

“We’re exploring opportunities to make access to testing even easier in future, including working with the government’s Department for Health and Social Care to create more collection points for home test kits.

“Our service, which we run jointly with South Gloucestershire, has run more than 18,000 tests since it opened, finding nearly 200 positive cases.

“Each one of those people would otherwise have been unknowingly spreading Covid-19.”

People who receive a negative test must still continue to follow Covid safety guidelines.

To find out more about rapid testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff, including how to access home testing kits, log on to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff#how-to-get-a-rapid-lateral-flow-test

To book a test in North Somerset or for more information, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

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