Rapid antigen testing will not happen in Canberra schools by 2021 | Canberra Times

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The ACT’s opposition is disappointed that the territory’s government is delaying an attempt at rapid antigen testing in schools, saying that other states were able to do so and that the authorities should do everything they can to keep children and teachers in school. . The ACT government abandoned plans for a rapid antigen testing pilot regime in Canberra schools before the end of the year, saying it would be too complex to impose the trial in the last four weeks of the school term. This is despite continued outbreaks across more than 20 schools in the area. “Other states like NSW and Victoria have successfully rolled out rapid antigen testing in schools, so it is disappointing that the ACT Labor-Greens government has not been able to follow suit,” said opposition education spokesman Jeremy Hanson. “Children have already missed out on so much face-to-face learning since the pandemic began last year, and this government should do everything it can to reduce the amount of time teachers and students isolate themselves.” rapid antigen testing will ensure teachers and students are faster back in the classroom after exposure to COVID-19 cases. “Two-year levels at Charles Weston School were told to isolate themselves for 14 days, causing concern among parents. A parent told The Canberra Times that they would prefer to use fast antigen testing so the quarantine period could be shortened to seven days. “Children have a really hard time, they need that interaction because we are about to go on a six-week vacation,” the parent said. Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said one of the main reasons ACT had decided not to pursue a lawsuit is that it would create too much stress for children and their families. “Given all the benefits and u ease of making an attempt at this time of year, we are really well thought out that everyone is very tired, “she said. “It’s been a very big year for the students, for the parents and for the staff … some of the feedback, even since this announcement has been given, that both for school teachers and for parents, this would have been one more thing, as they would have had to get their heads around at the end of an exhausting year. ” While the ACT will not take on a lawsuit before the end of the year, an elementary school across the border in Queanbeyan is running a lawsuit. Fast antigen home test kits have been distributed to Queanbeyan West Public School to reduce the time close contacts have to quarantine. A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said the trial would allow close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases to return to school after seven days instead of 14. “Students should have a standard PCR test (nose and mouth inoculation) on day six, and if the result is negative, then they will be able to use rapid antigen tests from day eight of their exposure date and be able to return to on-site learning, “the spokesman said. “A positive rapid antigen home test does not necessarily mean that a person has COVID-19. That means they must have a standard PCR test right away to confirm the result.” It was selected to be part of an expanded trial alongside The Lakes Christian College in Castlereagh, William Stimson Public School, Henschke Primary School, Moonbi Public School, Epping West Public School. The school has been closed for several days since students returned for face-to-face learning due to positive COVID-19 cases. Queanbeyan West Public School Parents and Citizens Association chairman Sarah McIntyre said the two COVID-19 exposure incidents had been very disruptive as the school was closed for two days each time for contact detection and cleaning, forcing parents to work from home again. She said the rapid antigen test would benefit children who were close contacts. “If it gets the kids back to school and some kind of normality and also makes things easier for the parents, it has to be positive after the last two years,” McIntyre said. MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT government was unsure whether there would be an appropriate test site for a trial in the coming weeks. “The second factor was whether we would ever get an appropriate exposure at an appropriate school with a community that was able and willing to participate in the trial with only four weeks left to go to school,” she said. Instead, the ACT government will monitor the results of trials across the state and abroad. “With all these considerations in mind, we decided that we would be better placed to keep an eye on what’s going on in Victoria and NSW, and they also continue to change their arrangements in relation to schools and testing and the use of rapid antigen testing, “said Mrs. Stephen-Smith. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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