Parents react to twice weekly Covid tests for school households

Reopening schools could see repeat rapid testing of pupils to be conducted in schools when they return, before switching...

Reopening schools could see repeat rapid testing of pupils to be conducted in schools when they return, before switching to home tests. - Credit: PA

Parents in Norfolk have had their say on the government's announcement that all households with school aged children will be able to get tested for Covid twice weekly. 

The rapid lateral flow tests will be available to all family members with primary, secondary and college aged children in the household.

Kurt Oliver, landlord of the White Hart pub in Swaffham, has two children, aged 14 and 10, who attend Dereham Northgate High School and Carbrooke Academy. 

Landlord of the White Hart in Swaffham Kurt Oliver with his family.

Swaffham landlord Kurt Oliver with his family - Credit: Submitted

He said: "I welcome anything that will subdue and keep down the virus so that children can get back to seeing their classmates. 

"We spoke openly and honestly to our children about Covid so they understand the need to control it. They have had no adverse reaction to getting tested in the past." 

Mr Oliver had decided to take his children out of school just before the government announced most schools would close from January 5. 

But he feels teachers and parents should now have more confidence with more safety measures in place. 

Ben Price, a Green Party councillor for Norwich City Council, has two children aged eight and four, who attend Charles Darwin Primary. 

Norwich City councillor Ben Price is pictured at Mousehold with his two children.

Norwich City councillor Ben Price is pictured with his children at Mousehold. - Credit: Submitted

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He said: "I welcome the introduction of rapid testing for children, their families and support bubbles.

"It will help reduce the chances of the disease spreading and creating another surge which in turn helps to protect school staff who have worked so hard keeping education going during the pandemic. 

"It is important that the government clearly communicates that all these lateral flow tests are much less sensitive so a negative result does not mean you definitely do not have the virus, and this needs to be made clear." 

He added that children are desperate to get back into the classroom to see their friends, which will have a impact on them for many years to come. 

But he questioned why schools are reopening just two weeks before the Easter break when large numbers of the population are yet to be vaccinated. He would prefer to see schools open after the break. 

Some parents have commented on our Facebook page saying their children feel uncomfortable about taking tests. 

Kymberley-Jayne Seeger said: "I have tested our family at home throughout, but it’s distressing for a child to have a test that makes them gag or even throw up!" 

Tasha Mitchell-Willson, who has children aged eight, six and 10, posted: "It was horrific, nose bleeds and projectile vomiting. Needless to say they never managed to get tested. When they need testing again I'm hoping a professional will help us." 

Lisa Dennis believes the tests should have been sent to homes well in advance of schools reopening to save time if a child tests positive for the virus.

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