'Fast' Covid tests to keep schools open just weeks away

'Faster' tests that will mean pupils can be tested in schools are to be rolled out 'over the next few weeks', says Johnson
16th October 2020, 5:12pm

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'Fast' Covid tests to keep schools open just weeks away

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/fast-covid-tests-keep-schools-open-just-weeks-away
Tests

Rapid Covid tests that will be used to help keep schools open over the winter are just weeks away, the prime minister has said.

The government is building the infrastructure to produce "millions of fast tests" in Britain, which it will use to test children in schools, helping to "keep education open safely through the winter", Boris Johnson said today.

Speaking at this afternoon's Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said the government will begin distributing and trialling the tests "over the next few weeks".


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"Scientists and companies in Britain and around the world have been developing new tests which are faster, simpler and cheaper. They've been working hard to discover and evaluate new testing technologies," Mr Johnson said.

"Though there is work to do, it's become clear over the past few weeks that some of these new tests are highly effective and can help us save lives and jobs over the winter.

"We've already bought millions of these tests, some of which are very simple - meaning you simply need to wipe the swab inside your mouth, and can [get] a result in as quickly as 15 minutes. Some of these fast tests work with saliva, and we are already using these in hospitals.

"We've started building the infrastructure for domestic manufacture of these tests, ensuring that Britain has the ability to produce millions of fast tests here."

He added: "Over the next few weeks, we will start distributing and trialling these tests across the country. This will enable us to do quick turnaround tests on NHS and care home staff much more frequently.

"By testing more frequently and quickly than ever before, we hope we can help prevent the virus from spreading through care homes.

"And we will be able to test students in universities with outbreaks as well as children in schools, helping us to keep education open safely through the winter."

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