On-site COVID-19 testing has resumed at some secondary schools in Bolton, just one of many measures introduced as the community pulls together to fight rising infection rates.
All secondary school pupils and college students in England are asked to take twice weekly lateral flow (LFD) tests at home.
One in three people with COVID-19 suffer no symptoms.
But regular testing helps identify those who may be spreading the virus without realising it, so they can self-isolate to keep others safe.
In line with guidance from the Department for Education, only pupils aged 12 and over are being tested.
However, all schools and early years setting are being supplied with larger quantities of home test kits for parents to use.
College students are also urged to take two tests a week.
The COVID infection rate has risen substantially in Bolton in recent weeks.
Children and young people account for a high proportion of positive cases and those who have tested positive are now self-isolating to stop the spread of the virus.
Evidence shows the virus is spreading out in the community and that transmission is not linked to our schools.
Robust safety measures, alongside mask wearing for older pupils, bubble systems and LFD testing, mean schools remain a COVID secure environment for children and staff.
Pupils who do have to self-isolate have access to a wide variety of home learning resources.
I want to thank teachers, parents and pupils for their ongoing support as we all pull together to bring local rates down.
Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, said:
“Through regular LFD testing, secondary schools have helped stop COVID from spreading by identifying asymptomatic cases.
“To encourage as many pupils and families as possible to engage with LFD testing, we have introduced on-site testing at a select number of schools.
“I want to thank teachers, parents and pupils for their ongoing support as we all pull together to bring local rates down.
“Regular LFD testing is not just for schools, anyone who cannot work from home should test themselves at home to make sure they are not putting others at risk.”