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Lateral Flow Testing in School

In early January, secondary schools were asked to offer ‘mass testing’, initial testing of vulnerable children and children of critical workers who are attending school, weekly testing of staff and ‘serial testing’ (daily testing of close contacts of positive cases). However, the government has now asked schools to pause ‘serial testing’ and for staff to be tested twice a week.
Testing at Trinity has been taking place in one of our Science labs for the last 3 weeks and the tests help to identify asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected.
A lateral flow test team was formulated, including science technicians and members of the pastoral team, at the start of term. Training was undertaken and risk assessments were completed. Consent was sought from staff and those students currently attending school so that testing could begin on 11th January, 2021. To provide reassurance to students, parents and staff, mass testing of vulnerable children and critical worker children has continued on a weekly basis. If any test shows a positive result, the student or member of staff are required to have PCR test outside of school.
Our lateral flow test team is made up of the following staff in school:
Quality Lead: Responsible for the overall on-site operations at the test site, including day-to-day workforce management, quality assurance, and risk mitigation across the testing service.
Test Assistant: Provides guidance and supervision to subjects on swabbing as requested. Collects completed swabs and passes them to the Processor.
Processor: Prepares test sample for analysis, processes Lateral Flow Devices, interprets result and provides results to Results Recorder.
COVID-19 Coordinator: Signs off and schedules testing activities; ensuring communications and consents are actioned; management of positive cases as per school guidelines.
Registration Assistant: Responsible for ensuring subjects have registered and distributing test kits on arrival.
Results Recorder: Collates results from Processor and logs on central spreadsheet.

The below photos show students waiting for their test and the testing area.

Swabs are taken by individuals themselves behind the black screen:

The testing area is thoroughly cleaned, the test sample is processed using the lateral flow testing device, and results are recorded:

 

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29th January 2021 – Vol 37 | No 19