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School antigen testing submission rates remain low

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Submission rates for Covid-19 antigen testing remain at only 57 per cent for students and 50 per cent for staff in public schools, the Ministry of Education has said.

The ministry urged parents and staff to take up the testing to increase these figures to at least 80 per cent and said that a revision of the School Phases will be conducted next week.

The ministry said: “All website forms have been updated to improve data collection and management.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to stress that parents' and staff's personal data will not be shared with anyone outside of the Covid-19 Unit.”

The ministry confirmed that Covid-19 testing carried out last week has enabled all negative students to return to in-school learning this week.

Middle and senior school students will resume twice-weekly antigen testing on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Results may be logged here.

Starting this week, preschool and primary pupils will return to weekly saliva screening. Before the move to antigen testing, the saliva screening programme had a more than 80 per cent participation rate.

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education (File photograph)

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said: "Our youngest students must be in the classroom to limit the disruption to the broader community.

“I am pleased that our entire education team and stakeholders are working collaboratively to ensure the best outcome for our students.

“I want to welcome all of our staff and students back to school. I encourage everyone to stay safe and don't forget to submit your results."

The ministry thanked its partners at the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, who will provide the saliva screening service to younger learners.

The ministry added: “We are looking forward to activities like in-person sports days, field trips, graduations, school events, PTA meetings, mask-wearing relaxation, etc that will be allowed with the Schools Phases revisions being worked on currently that will be announced next week.

“However, participation rates in the weekly screening will also be a factor to allow individual schools to take advantage of these revisions.”

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Published March 01, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated March 01, 2022 at 7:53 am)

School antigen testing submission rates remain low

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