Covid-19 testing prioritised for 10,000 school staff
COVID-19 testing is to be prioritised for Liverpool’s 10,000 school staff as the new term gets under way.
For four days – Saturday 2 January to Tuesday 5 January – four symptom-free test centres in the city will offer priority lateral flow testing for any adult who works in any of Liverpool’s schools from 7am-11am.
The centres offering priority school staff testing are:
Liverpool’s primary schools and special schools will be open from Monday 4 January for all pupils.
From Monday, 4 January, secondary schools will only be delivering on-site teaching for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. From 11 January, on-site teaching will further include children in exam years with all secondary-age children returning to school from 18 January.
Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “Keeping all our young people in school is an absolute priority.
“Our teachers have done incredible work engaging with children through remote learning but there is no doubt that children need to be with their friends in a classroom environment if they are to do the best they can.
“Many school staff have already regularly been getting tested but these periods of priority testing mean that it will be even quicker and easier for them to take a lateral-flow test and to keep themselves and the people around them safe.”
Steve Reddy, Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Liverpool City Council, said: “The decision to offer these priority testing hours for school staff underlines how deeply we value education in Liverpool and all our school staff who drive the city’s successes.
“Taking advantage of this over the next few days is another step towards keeping our children’s classrooms open.”
Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, said: “Rates of coronavirus locally are now increasing and we also know that the new variant of coronavirus is highly infectious, so we all need to do everything we can to limit its spread. However, we also need to protect the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people, and keeping schools open has a vital role to play.
“By offering symptom-free testing as a priority to school staff we will identify more positive cases, keep more people safe and help everyone to get on with their lives.
“I would urge all school staff to take advantage of these priority testing hours so that we can get the new school term off to a great start. But please remember testing is just part of our overall approach to limiting the spread of coronavirus, so please also continue to follow ‘hands-face-space’ at all times.”