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Knockavoe School 10 Melmount Gardens

COVID-19 LAMP Testing Programme

24th Feb 2021

As you are aware the Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge disruption to special schools.  In order to try and reduce this disruption and maintain face to face teaching as much as possible all special schools in Northern Ireland will be taking part in a programme of weekly Covid-19 testing of pupils and staff.

The programme will offer all asymptomatic staff and pupils a weekly test using a new and less invasive testing technology called LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) which uses saliva (spit) samples to test for Covid-19.

The initiative is being led by the Public Health Agency working together with the Education Authority and Queens University Belfast.

A factsheet attached provides detailed information of how the programme works and clearly explains how to help your child provide a saliva (spit) sample to be tested.

The aim of this approach is to find asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases so they can be isolated, along with their contacts, as quickly as possible therefore reducing the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the school.  

This programme is completely voluntary, but I would encourage your support as the more pupils who contribute to this testing programme the better we can reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our school.   This will give staff confidence in coming to school to provide face to face teaching and parents more confidence in sending their child to school.

Please take some time to look through the sway document which will explain how this testing will operate

https://sway.office.com/Zj9xSnaXoZvCzTsm?ref=Link

Also, see attached documents with a brochure and a list of frequently asked questions.

A consent form will follow when we receive final information from EA. It is hoped that the programme of testing will begin on the week beginning 8th March 2021.