Students may be forced to take a Covid test at the school gate every day to avoid sudden outbreaks as NSW pupils prepare to return to the classroom on Monday
- NSW Education and health authorities are ‘exploring’ home testing options
- Home testing kids may be sent out to families or testing will be done at the gate
- School students in NSW will return to the classroom from October 18
Children could be forced to take rapid antigen Covid tests every morning before they are allowed inside the classroom, health officials say.
NSW education and health authorities revealed they are ‘exploring’ the option in a bid to reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools, before students return to face-to-face learning from October 18.
It has not been confirmed whether the testing would be done at home or at the school gate but both are being considered as options.
Rapid antigen tests are cheaper than polymerase chain reaction tests, which are used at public testing centres, and the results are available in minutes.
School students may have to take Covid tests at the school gates (pictured: students in Strathfield, Sydney)
Rapid antigen tests (pictured) are cheaper than polymerase chain reaction tests, which are used at public testing centres
In a newsletter to parents last week, the Department of Heath said it was looking at sending home testing kits to families.
‘We are exploring with NSW Health the use of Covid home testing kits (known as rapid antigen testing) as a further screening measure to reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools or the length of time students need to isolate after contact with someone with Covid,’ the newsletter read, according to the Daily Telegraph.
‘Further details will be provided in Term 4.’
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved rapid antigen tests for use in aged care facilities, schools, workplaces and health centres.
Preschool, kindergarten and Year 1 students will return to the classroom on October 18, and other year groups will go back to face-to-face learning on October 25. Pictured: A nurse performing a rapid antigen test in Sydney last week)
Three home tests were approved by the TGA on Wednesday.
Many schools overseas require students to take similar tests at the school gate to determine whether they have Covid, and there are a series of trial programs underway in private schools across the state.
Preschool, kindergarten and Year 1 students will return to the classroom on October 18, and other year groups will go back to face-to-face learning on October 25.
Rapid antigen tests are already being used by private companies, including Meriton, Dulux, Goodman Fielder, Warner Bros and Warner Bros.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to the department of education and NSW Health for further comment.