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OIC advises twice-weekly COVID tests as schools return from break

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) is reminding school staff and pupils of the COVID-19 measures which will remain in place as schools return from the October break.

The Scottish Government have been asking for some time now that people undertake twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests and this has also been the case for staff and secondary pupils in schools.

With all schools across the county due back on Monday, October 25, we would appeal to all our school staff and secondary pupils to schedule one of their regular LFD tests shortly before they return — as was the advice following the summer break.

OIC executive director of education, leisure and Housing, James Wylie, said: “Following the recent outbreak and in the build up to the October holidays we saw significant engagement in the LFD process.

“It is imperative that we pick up where we left off.

“All school staff and secondary pupils are strongly encouraged to restart twice-weekly at-home LFD testing in the week prior to return. The advice states that ideally, staff and secondary pupils should take the second weekly test either in the morning before leaving for the first day of school or the evening before.

“It is really important that you record your results online, whether positive, negative or void. This helps public health experts understand what levels of COVID-19 are and can inform policy on things like future mitigations in schools. Testing can help reduce the risks of COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. This, in turn, can help reduce the numbers  of staff or children and young people that will have to self-isolate due to outbreaks.”

All schools offered test kits to staff and pupils prior to the October break, which can be used for these purposes. If any staff or pupils have not received test kits, they can access them in a range of different ways, including ordering online for home delivery, or collecting kits from your nearest test site or pharmacy, such as Sutherlands in Kirkwall and Stromness, and Boots.