Schools to end twice weekly RAT testing

The NSW government will supply parents with eight rapid tests per child to keep kids in classrooms.  Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw
The NSW government will supply parents with eight rapid tests per child to keep kids in classrooms. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

Schools in NSW will continue to hand out rapid antigen tests to help keep kids in classrooms but surveillance testing will end.

Eight RAT kits will be offered to each student and staff member in NSW schools, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Sunday.

But children and teachers will no longer have to undergo rapid antigen tests twice a week as the surveillance measure comes to an end at the end of next week.

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Instead the extra packs will be handed out to staff and parents in two drops and can be used at their discretion for “peace of mind”.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced extra rapid antigen tests for schools.  Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced extra rapid antigen tests for schools. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles.

Four packs will be delivered to schools this week and the additional four will arrive in the next few weeks.

“We are therefore providing every student and staff member across the state with another eight RATs for them to use at their discretion when they consider necessary, following a four week program of surveillance testing,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The packs are there for families and staff to use at their discretion for their own peace of mind, for example, when a student is feeling unwell with a sore throat or cough, or if family members are sick.”

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said more than 90 per cent of parents used the tests which schools had handed out during the four-week surveillance period.

Each school student in NSW will get eight rapid antigen tests for “peace of mind”.  Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Each school student in NSW will get eight rapid antigen tests for “peace of mind”. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

“It is important we help students, staff and families retain their levels of confidence as we get back to a more normal school life,” Ms Mitchell said.

She said transmission of Covid-19 in schools remained “extremely low” and there were no closures despite the levels of community transmission.

Early childhood staff will also receive the additional RAT kits to be used when necessary, the government said.

The state recorded 7615 Covid-19 cases on Saturday.

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Caroline Schelle has covered courts, crime and breaking news in Melbourne since 2014. Cutting her teeth with a News Corp cadetship, she spent several years honing her skills at Leader newspapers before moving t… Read more

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