Schoolchildren: please keep testing

June 17, 2021

Southend’s Director of Public Health is requesting parents and carers continue to encourage the young people in their household to test regularly following a recent slight rise in infection rates within schools.

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, is urging students to test twice weekly and ideally test the night before a school day. This is to prevent children from unknowingly spreading the virus to others and to protect the health of students, staff and the wider community.

Southend, like the rest of England, has seen an increase in the number of positive COVID results for the Delta variant over the past few weeks.

In the letter, Mr Ramkhelawon, explains: “Whilst overall infection rates remain low across the Borough currently, since the May/June half term there has been a rise in the number of infections within our schools and it does seem to be the younger generations who are becoming infected with this variant.”

Students are being requested to:

  • test twice weekly
  • ideally test the night before a school day
  • wait the full 30 minutes before checking the result
  • record the result on the NHS website
  • if your test has a positive result, you should self-isolate immediately and undertake a PCR test to confirm the result and help identify which variant you are infected with.

Testing kits are available from local pharmacies and the libraries listed in the letter below or can be ordered through the Government website to be delivered directly to your door. For those students who are less comfortable with self-testing, can access assisted testing from eight pharmacies across Southend who can help.

If your test is positive and your household needs to isolate, there is still funding support in place for those who qualify.

Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: ”We are grateful for the brilliant efforts our parents, students and staff have gone to, throughout this pandemic, to keep our children and wider community safe. We are kindly requesting that parents continue to support us in our efforts to prevent the spread of infection by ensuring their children test regularly and follow instructions to self-isolate where needed.”

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