Students in Year 11 and above offered Covid test

ALL schoolchildren in Year 11 and above, as well as people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, will be offered a Covid-19 test in the coming weeks, the government has announced.

Deputy Tracey Vallois
Deputy Tracey Vallois

The move was prompted by updated medical advice from the Scientific Technical and Advisory Cell, and screening is due to take place on school or college premises and at the testing facility at the Harbour.

Last week, more than 100 teachers from two schools were tested as part of a programme to routinely screen all frontline workers. All of those tests results were negative.

A number of school year groups have recently been forced to quarantine as pupils have tested positive for the virus, with JCG, St Michael’s and Victoria College among those affected.

Education Minister Tracey Vallois said: ‘I am pleased to see the positive uptake in teachers participating in the Covid-19 screening in schools.

‘I would like to reassure parents and staff that the Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills is working closely with the contact-tracing and infection control teams in order to support and protect our children, our staff and our community.

‘Regular testing is being offered to all of our teachers and I am grateful to the testing teams for offering our teachers and students the opportunity to be tested on the school site.’

She added: ‘I am pleased to see the positive response we received from our older school students in Years 11, 12 and 13 and above wearing masks in the areas of their schools where mixing and social distancing is more difficult to manage. The latest medical evidence says that the risk of infection and transmission is greater for older teenagers than younger children, as recent cases have shown. This latest policy of introducing screening in secondary schools, with mask-wearing in communal areas and on the school bus, as well as face visors for teaching staff, is to be welcomed to guarantee the highest form of safety for our school community.’

Further details on the plans and screening dates for the new programme will be sent to parents and young Islanders in the next week.

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