Primary school testing to track spread of virus

A throat and a nose swab is used to test for the virus. Image from a Telethon Kids Institute clip by Hayley Goddard.

MOUNT LAWLEY primary school is among 80 institutions selected for coronavirus testing.

The WA government and Telethon Kids Institute will carry out the voluntary tests, which involve a throat and a nasal swab.

Education minister Sue Ellery says there’s been no Covid-19 transmissions in WA schools.

“However, this study will play an important role in establishing whether asymptomatic transmission may occur and which groups may be at greater risk,” Ms Ellery said.

Staff can opt in and parents’ permission is required for kids. 

If an infection is detected, contact tracing will be more rigorous than usual, with close contacts undergoing tests at two-week intervals while in quarantine.

It’s currently thought children are less likely to spread the virus compared to coughing, sneezing adults.

The program will run for three months, or longer depending on the number of cases detected.

Information will be going out to parents shortly. The study will also survey students, parents and staff on their mental wellbeing to see if more support is needed.

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