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Health Update: Back to School and testing

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health

Dear residents, 

This week saw the full return to school of our children and young people.

Regular symptom-free testing of secondary school age pupils has been introduced to help limit transmission and prevent outbreaks. All of our secondary schools have rolled out this new testing programme which is a great achievement by all involved that will mean pupils who have COVID-19 but with no symptoms can be quickly identified and we can break the chain of infection.

On returning to school or college this week, students will have been tested three times in supervised settings to support them to learn how to use the tests accurately and then asked to continue using home testing kits twice a week. School staff will also be required to take twice-weekly tests using home testing kits.

Primary school children are not part of the schools testing programme however staff will take a home test twice weekly.

Getting used to a twice weekly self-testing routine is an important part of the process for opening up schools and wider society as we move out of lockdown.

As an additional precautionary measure, adults and students in secondary schools are asked to wear face coverings indoors, in classrooms and where social distancing is not possible. This advice is in place whilst the virus rate is still very high and school testing programmes are getting started. The advice will be reviewed at the end of this term.

As well as commending the efforts of our young people to continue learning during these uncertain times I would also like to take a moment to take my hat off, so to speak, to all the parents, guardians and family members who have supported our young people to continue with their education. For many of you I’m sure home-schooling was a balancing act you never thought you would have to undertake – thank you for your commitment and continued efforts.

Thanks for reading and please, stay safe.

Julie.