In news which may come as a relief to many parents in Jersey, the Health Minister has confirmed he is considering removing the need for every child who is confirmed as a 'direct contact' of a covid case, to take a PCR test.
Deputy Richard Renouf said the rule meant some children were having to be taken for tests two of three times a week, and it may be more sensible simply to require them to take a lateral flow test at home instead.
This evening the government has confirmed there are 1,255 active cases in Jersey, with 11,201 direct contacts. Up until yesterday, there were 141 cases in the island's schools.
Yesterday's Jersey's Government announced that it is restarting community PCR testing at the airport in reaction to the increasing number of covid cases in the island. The new facility will be in the arrivals building, next to where incoming passengers are currently being swabbed.
In the States Assembly today, Deputy Renouf was responding to a question from Deputy Louise Doublet who was concerned that the testing program was already disrupting children's education.
She asked the Health Minister: "How is he mitigating the effects on education, as I'm certainly hearing that children's education is being significantly disrupted already at this age in the season, and I think that is only going to get worse. So are children being prioritised for tests, and what other measures can be taken to mitigate the impact on children having to be out of school for these tests."
Deputy Renouf responded that officials were considering asking children who are direct contacts of a confirmed case to take a lateral flow test, rather than a PCR which involves a specific trip to either the harbour, or the new facility at the airport.
Pictured: Yesterday the Government announced a new PCR testing facility for islanders at the airport, to cope with the current demand.
"We do understand the pressures, in that children it appears that children are having to attend too regularly, as it would be seen by some, for PCR tests because, they're regularly being identified as direct contacts of classmates.
"So there is work going on within CYPES to try and mitigate that sometimes distress to children who may have to attend two or three times a week for PCR tests it may not be the most appropriate thing to do, because lateral flow tests are very reliable with the delta variant, but that work is being considered with public health officials with a view to trying to help in the educational setting."
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