Dear Parents, Carers & Families,
I just wanted to write to inform you of the latest COVID update that schools have received from the Department of Education today. There is very little change other than the temporary suspension of confirmatory PCR tests from today. I know there is such a lot of information regarding COVID measures which I am sure must feel confusing at times, however, I did think it was useful to share this with families to keep you well informed.
Temporary Suspension of Confirmatory PCR Tests in Education and Childcare Settings
Confirmatory PCR testing following a positive result on a lateral flow device (LFD) will be temporarily suspended from Tuesday 11 January. This means that staff and students who test and report a positive LFD result online will no longer be advised to get a confirmatory PCR test. This change is informed by public health advice who state that, with high COVID-19 rates, the risk of a positive LFD result being false is very small and, therefore, there is no current need to ask people to also have a confirmatory PCR unless they:
- have symptoms (in which case they need to follow the stay at home guidance, self-isolate and order a PCR test;
- have been advised to take a PCR test because they are in a clinically vulnerable group;
- have been advised to do so as part of a research or surveillance programme.
Tracing contacts of a positive case remains the responsibility of NHS Test and Trace. From Tuesday 11 January, contact tracing will be triggered once a positive LFD test is reported online.
We strongly encourage all students and staff to continue to test twice weekly at home and to report all results to NHS Test and Trace and to the academy. Reporting test results every time students and staff take an LFD test means the NHS always gets the latest, most accurate information. This helps them to keep track of where the virus is spreading, provide support where it is needed and protect local communities across the country.
- Anyone with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate and follow self-isolation guidance; information on the new arrangements can be found in the ‘Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection’.
Thank you as always for your support.
Ms A Croft