TESTING REMINDER: Middlesbrough parents reminded to get their children tested
Testing reminder for parents as school Covid numbers released.
Parents in Middlesbrough are being reminded of the Covid-19 testing options in the town. All parents of nursery, primary, secondary and college students are being encouraged to take twice weekly rapid Covid tests for people without symptoms. The regular testing can help identify positive cases and their contacts early. In turn, this reduces the likelihood of positive cases leading to whole school class bubbles having to isolate.
Figures released by Middlesbrough Council show how even relatively small numbers of positive cases can disrupt education. The Council is working closely with schools who are following Public Health England and Department for Education guidelines to keep children safe. As of March 22, 64 positive cases this month had led to 725 students having to isolate. Over 30,000 children attend nurseries, primary and secondary schools in the town.
Regular testing can help reduce those numbers to even lower levels.
South Tees Joint Director of Public Health Mark Adams said: "As infection rates come down, the regular testing of people without symptoms is going to key to keeping on top of the virus. The tests are free, fast and easy to use. They can help find people who otherwise may have gone on to spread the virus without realising. The Council can also provide advice around financial support for those required to isolate.
"The more people who take part in regular testing, the better chance we have of pushing infection rates down."
Regular testing with home kits or at community sites is only for those without symptoms. The following information sets out the testing options in Middlesbrough.
How children should be tested when they have symptoms
Anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate immediately along with everyone they live with. The symptoms of Covid-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss/change to the sense of smell or taste.
The person with symptoms should book a test online via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
This will be a PCR test and the sample will be sent away to be checked. The person who was tested should continue to self-isolate along with everyone they live with until the result.
How parents can access rapid testing
All parents of nursery, school and college-age children are now encouraged to take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week. These tests are designed for people who don't have symptoms. The tests can help find positive cases that would otherwise have gone undetected.
Order for home delivery
Parents, as well as those in a childcare or support bubble with a student, can order kids online via www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
Collect (no booking required)
Home kits can also be collected between 1.30pm and 7pm from test sites at Cannon Park, Pallister Park and Teesside University.
Community testing sites
People can also visit one of three Council community testing sites. Tests at these sites are done under supervision. Opening details are as follows:
- North Ormesby Hub, Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm
- Newport Hub, Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm
- Middlesbrough Sports Village, Wednesday - Sunday, 8am - 3pm.
Tests at those three venues can be booked online: www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/communitytesting. If you don't have access to the internet you can call 01642 245432.
From April 7, test kits will also be available for collection from the three community test sites. No booking will be necessary to collect home test kits.
Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
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