As schools return from their half term break I want to stress the importance of twice weekly covid testing for pupils, their families and staff in schools across the constituency. A major testing programme has been in place for students since schools returned in March to identify asymptomatic cases and isolate them as quickly as possible, helping to keep schools open in North Yorkshire.
The success of students and staff in building regular twice-weekly testing into routines has so far helped keep the virus out of schools and colleges. Rapid testing continues to help find the one in three people with Covid-19 who show no symptoms, allowing them to isolate rather than unknowingly spread the virus, preventing outbreaks from taking hold.
Testing is as important as ever. Although the number of infections are very low in the constituency, we cannot afford to take anything for granted. I hope that every pupil will continue to take the covid tests twice weekly to make sure we don’t allow the numbers to rise again. Rapid tests are available to everyone free of charge and, by using them regularly, you can find cases of infection that wouldn’t otherwise be found and help stop the infection spreading. One in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so can go under the radar without testing. We can all do our bit to keep our schools and communities safe as school starts again.
Secondary schools and colleges across North Yorkshire continue to provide packs of tests to their students so they can take two tests a week. Primary schools are also providing packs to their staff. These are available from pharmacies and other sites.
Positive cases identified by rapid testing need to be confirmed with a PCR test which means people do not need to worry about isolating unnecessarily following a positive rapid test result.