Schoolchildren in Liverpool added to mass voluntary COVID testing programme

The pilot mass testing programme for COVID-19 launched recently in the city of Liverpool is being extended to secondary and special schools.

Liverpool City Council is writing to parents of pupils aged between 11 and 18, asking if they are willing to consent to their child receiving a test. The council says it is working with public health bodies and school nursing services to facilitate the voluntary programme within schools.

As with the mass testing programme already underway in the city, the military will be providing logistical support in setting up and running the tests. Anyone of any age is able to get a test under the scheme, which is being seen as something of a test case for the whole country, as a means of gauging the real numbers of infections in a certain area, and the potential patterns for how it spreads.

Initially the scheme was limited to over 11s only, but from now on parents and carers can book the whole family for a test – regardless of their child’s age. Under 18s need parental consent.

Matthew Ashton, the city’s director of public health, said: “The more of us who get tested, the more we can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our city. We’re saying to people: let’s do this for our families, our city, our Liverpool – and that includes our young people

“All children aged between 11 and 18 years old, where the appropriate recorded consent is provided, are eligible for the test. We are inviting the young people in our city to take part in this process and be part of this ground-breaking initiative.”

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Author: Simon Weedy

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