Following a successful rapid antigen test (RAT) surveillance program for the first four weeks of term one in schools, the NSW government will continue supporting face-to-face learning by offering eight RAT kits per student and staff member to use when families consider necessary.
The RAT packs will be distributed to parents and staff in two drops to be used at their discretion. The first round of packs are already arriving at schools.
Nationals Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said over 90 per cent of parents have been using the RATs provided.
“It is important we help students, staff and families retain their levels of confidence as we get back to a more normal school life,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We know our measures work; transmission in schools is extremely low, and there have been no school closures since students returned this year, despite the levels of community transmission.
“Testing children twice a week was not an easy task and I’d like to thank all of the parents and carers for their efforts in these critical first few weeks of term. Additional RAT packs will allow parents to stay vigilant and help us all continue to reduce the impact of COVID on schools.”
Early childhood staff will also receive the additional RAT kits to be used when necessary.
Research conducted by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) showed that in Term 4 2021, three to four per cent of people exposed to a positive case in school and ECE settings contracted COVID-19 compared to around 70 per cent in residential settings.