blank
Connect with us

Coronavirus

Welsh Government announce plans for serial COVID testing in schools and colleges from January

Published

on

The Welsh Government has announced plans to roll out serial testing in schools and colleges from January.

Under this process, pupils and staff identified as close contacts would be asked to either self-isolate as normal or to take a lateral flow test at the start of the school day for the duration of the self-isolation period.  

Those who test negative would continue attending school as normal, those who test positive would be required to self-isolate and book a confirmatory test.

Schools and colleges will be offered support, equipment and training.  All staff working in special schools will be offered weekly testing.

Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams MS

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “Throughout this pandemic our priority has been to deliver maximum learning with as minimal disruption as possible.

“The plans we are announcing today will play an integral role in delivering on that priority.

“We recognise that it has not been easy for pupils and staff who have been required to self-isolate as a result of having been identified as a ‘close contact’ and we recognise the impact it has had on face-to-face teaching.

Advertisement

“Earlier this month we announced the reduction in the period of time for which a person needs to self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days.

“Following discussions with Public Health Wales and the Children and Schools Technical Advisory Cell, we are pleased to confirm that we will introduce a serial testing programme in schools and further education settings in the new year.”

Lateral flow testing detects the presence of the Covid-19 viral antigen from a swab sample.

LFTs are handheld devices which produce results within 20 to 30 minutes, with the potential to be self-administered.

Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething MS

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething added: “The lessons we have learnt from using LFTs in pilots in higher education institutions across Wales and secondary schools in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf will help inform how we can successfully deliver lateral flow testing in schools and other education settings in the future.

“It is vital everyone understands that testing alone cannot eradicate the risks associated with contracting and transmitting Covid-19. 

Advertisement

“Testing helps to mitigate the risk but it needs to be taken alongside other infection prevention control measures, including appropriate social distancing and hand hygiene measures.

“We are grateful to everyone in the sector who has worked hard to make sure these measures are in place.”

The Welsh Government intends to roll out testing to all schools and further education settings, including primary and childcare staff.

However, in order to ensure there is a model that works and is safe, the roll out will be phased on levels of risk starting with secondary schools and further education settings.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Coronavirus

Face coverings retained in health and social care settings

Published

on

By

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed the legal requirement to wear a face covering in health and care settings will remain in place.

Speaking after the latest three-week review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister said the public health situation was improving following the recent spike in cases caused by the BA.2 sub-type of omicron.

Advertisement

But Covid case rates remain high so maintaining the use of face coverings in health and care settings will help to protect to some of the most vulnerable people in society, staff and visitors.

The First Minister also urged everyone to continue to take measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following a set of simple steps to protect one another and keep Wales safe.

These include self-isolating if ill or testing positive for Covid-19; wearing a face covering in crowded indoor places, meeting outdoors wherever possible; keeping indoor areas well ventilated and washing hands regularly.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The pandemic isn’t over but we are seeing encouraging signs the recent high levels of infections across Wales are falling.

“There are steps we can all take to protect ourselves while coronavirus is still circulating and reduce the spread of the virus even further. This is particularly true in places where some of the most vulnerable people in society are being treated and live, which is why we will retain the legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings.

Advertisement

“More generally, ensuring you are up-to-date with your Covid vaccinations and spring booster – if you are eligible – is really important. If you have Covid symptoms or test positive, please stay at home and help break the chain of transmission.

“Together, we can carry on keeping each other safe and keeping Wales safe.”

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 26 May.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Schools’ Covid guidance aligned to businesses and other workplaces

Published

on

By

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced that Covid-19 measures for schools in Wales will be brought into line with guidance for businesses and other organisations.

The Welsh Government has written to schools in Wales this morning to inform them of the changes.

Advertisement

Since September last year, schools have applied measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus according to local circumstances, based on the Local Covid-19 infection control decision framework for schools. Schools will no longer be advised to use the framework.

The change is in line with the Welsh Government’s long-term Covid-19 transition from pandemic to endemic. The risk from coronavirus is now considered in the same context as other communicable diseases, such as flu.

The First Minister has announced that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be removed from 9 May, if the public health situation remained stable. The changes to the guidance for schools will also come into effect from 9 May.

Schools and other education settings will continue to be advised to work with local authorities and public health advisors to ensure that measures remain appropriate and proportionate and reflect local risks and circumstances.

A checklist will be provided to support schools and settings in considering which control measures remain proportionate. Special schools will continue to follow the advice for children and young people with higher clinical risk and clinically extremely vulnerable adults.

Advertisement

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s weekly press briefing, Jeremy Miles said: “In line with the wider public health guidance published at the last three-week review, we have today written to headteachers to signpost the impending changes to our advice for schools, which reflect the move from pandemic to endemic. This will ensure school guidance is more closely aligned with the rest of society.

“We all know that Covid-19 has not gone way. It remains vitally important we reduce the spread of the virus where we can – this includes, for example, following self-isolation guidance, and for education settings to continue to undertake robust risk assessments.”

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Health board extends shuttle bus between Llanelli and COVID vaccination centre

Published

on

By

Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) has extended the free shuttle bus service between Llanelli town centre and the mass vaccination centre in Dafen to help people access their COVID-19 vaccination as easily as possible.

The shuttle bus, provided by Dolen Teifi, will continue to run between 10.30am to 4.40pm, seven days a week – with no service at 12.00pm from town or at 12.15pm from the mass vaccination centre to allow the drivers a lunch break.

Advertisement

People can board the shuttle bus on the hour and at half-past the hour at Church Street, outside Llanelli Magistrates Court.

The shuttle bus will leave the mass vaccination centre quarter past and quarter to the hour, returning to the town centre and dropping passengers off opposite Llanelli library.

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We need as many people as possible attending their COVID-19 vaccine appointments, or dropping in if eligible.

“This shuttle bus service is one of many additional resources and services being put in place across the Hywel Dda region to help support more people to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. I am pleased the shuttle bus service has been extended to help people reliant on public transport to access their COVID-19 vaccine.”

On 21 February 2022, the JCVI published a statement, recommending an additional spring booster.

Advertisement

Strict COVID-19 safety measures are in place to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers on this service, including wearing face coverings unless medically exempt.

A maximum of 14 passengers are allowed per journey with a screen in place between driver and passengers.

The health board say that passengers should only use this service if they are fit and well on the day.

They add that before travelling without an appointment to Dafen mass vaccination centre, people should check the health board’s website for up-to-date information such as vaccine eligibility and drop-in opening times.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News