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Covid-19 Australia: Rapid Antigen Test rollout in schools to be reviewed in two weeks

Shock changes to rapid antigen test rules for schoolkids with program facing the SCRAP as parents label it ‘confusing and excessive’ – while Covid-19 experts slam the strategy and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet backtracks

  • Rapid Antigen Test rollout set to be reviewed in NSW schools in two weeks
  • RATs have been slammed by parents as ‘excessive’ and experts as ‘unfeasible’
  • Infectious diseases expert Paul Griffin warned tests could lead to complacency


Rapid Antigen Tests at schools could soon be scrapped with the tests to be reviewed amid criticism the rollout has been ‘confusing’ and ‘unnecessary’. 

The NSW Government will assess in two weeks if any changes need to be made to the program that requires students and teachers to take an RAT twice a week.

The review will come as parents slam the testing requirements as ‘excessive’, infectious disease experts label the testing strategy as unfeasible and premier Dominic Perrottet delivers mixed messages about the testing timeframes.

Mr Perrottet has said on several occasions that students and teachers will not be required to undertake an RAT ‘on day one’ of school.

Rapid Antigen Tests at schools could soon be scrapped with the tests to be reviewed amid criticism the rollout has been ‘confusing’ and ‘unnecessary’

The NSW Government will assess in two weeks if any changes need to be made to the program that requires students and teachers to take an RAT twice a week (pictured, RATs delivered to a Melbourne school)

The NSW Government will assess in two weeks if any changes need to be made to the program that requires students and teachers to take an RAT twice a week (pictured, RATs delivered to a Melbourne school)

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has said the opposite and advised tests to be undertaken before the start of the school term on Friday. 

‘We’re asking all of our students and staff to test before they come back to school for that first day,’ she said earlier this week. 

Mater Health Services director of infectious diseases Professor Paul Griffin the RATs may provide a false sense of complacency around Covid-19.

‘People are overly reassured by false negatives, but that’s not really the intent of (a RAT) because the sensitivity isn’t enough,’ he told Daily Telegraph.

‘Really the key issue is there’s no point implementing a strategy that’s not feasible, because then it will become unmanageable.’

Some 4.9 million RATs have already been distributed to schools with supplies available at more than 80 per cent of state schools.

Box Hill mum-of-two Kye Hudson labelled the testing requirements as ‘excessive’.

‘To be honest I’m probably not going to do the test unless he’s showing symptoms which I feel like most people I’ve spoken to have said the same thing,’ she said.

‘I don’t know how they’re going to police it but I think it’s just going to have to come down to common sense.’ 

While most state school students begin on Tuesday, some private schools began classes on Thursday including Tamworth’s Calrossy Anglican School.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has said the opposite and advised tests to be undertaken before the start of the school term on Friday

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has said the opposite and advised tests to be undertaken before the start of the school term on Friday

The 1,000-student K-12 college received 3000 RATs on Monday, allowing it to uncover a couple of asymptomatic cases in new boarders and students who arrived on Thursday

The 1,000-student K-12 college received 3000 RATs on Monday, allowing it to uncover a couple of asymptomatic cases in new boarders and students who arrived on Thursday

The 1,000-student K-12 college received 3000 RATs on Monday, allowing it to uncover a couple of asymptomatic cases in new boarders and students who arrived on Thursday.

Staff also conducted a RAT before arriving but other students, returning on Friday, won’t have to test until Monday morning.

‘There’s no way we’d be able to ask parents, including some who live two or more hours away, to pick tests up before Friday,’ principal David Smith said.

Instead, students will go home on Friday with two tests each and use one on Monday and Thursday mornings. Parents will notify the school where positive results occur. Extra tests bought by the school will allow daily testing of boarders.

‘The big challenge will be how many staff and kids will we be without,’ Mr Smith said.

‘We want to be safe and careful as we can – we’re still doing what we can to cohort kids (with junior, middle and senior students kept separate).’ 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk