BHGS new Covid-19 Lateral Flow Testing Centre has processed 700 results in 5 weeks
I have been working in the Education sector for over 20 years, and I never thought I would see the Main Hall of any school turned into a COVID testing centre…
The week before Christmas last year, the Government made an announcement that would change school halls and gyms up and down the country. They announced that all Secondary Schools were going to be sent all the equipment and PPE needed to begin asymptomatic mass Covid-19 testing of staff and pupils. This announcement must have given Headteachers a headache. Not what they would have wanted just before Christmas!
As the Christmas festivities began, rumours of The Army going into schools to set up these mass testing centres started. Here at BHGS, I am yet to see one single soldier!
We returned to school on the 4th of January, just as Lockdown 3 came in. As we are always open for vulnerable children and those of critical workers, we had to set up our own testing centre. In less than a week, we turned our Main School Hall into a safe, clean testing centre and on the 8th of January we opened our doors. At the start, the recommendation was to test all staff and pupils, who consented to testing, once per week. By the third week in January, this recommendation had changed to twice per week! But we took this change in our strides!
As a small team of up to 10 people working every morning from 8:30am – 10:00am, with 3 private testing booths, we have conducted and processed just over 700 lateral flow tests in the 5 weeks that we have been open. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the school staff and parent volunteers who have stepped up and taken on testing roles that none of us thought would be possible within an education setting this time last year.
As I write this, we are still uncertain about how mass testing will work once schools return ‘to normal’ and like all schools, we await the Governmental announcement due around the 22nd February to see what it brings.
With half term on the horizon to look forward to, I hope you all get the chance to have a rest and relax after this weird start to 2021. Take care and stay safe.