Daily testing of students who have been exposed to COVID-19 may be just as effective as isolating groups, according to one study.
Research by the University of Oxford has found that testing as an alternative to the 10-day isolation policy currently in use can reduce COVID-related school absences by 39%.
About 200 secondary schools and colleges in England participated in the trial, with one group isolating themselves for 10 days and the other taking rapid lateral flow tests for seven days.
The researchers estimated that there were slightly fewer infections among students and staff when daily tests were used.
The study found that 1.5% of contacts who took daily tests tested positive or indeterminate for COVID-19, compared to 1.6% of students and staff staying at home.
Some 1.8% of school days were lost due to COVID-19 in the isolation group, while 1.5% of school days were lost in the daily test group.
The study was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and supported by the Ministry of Education and the Bureau of National Statistics, and has not yet been peer reviewed.
Bernadette Young, clinical lecturer in infectious diseases at the University of Oxford and researcher on the study, said: “By offering daily tests, you identify more of those who are really positive and specifically isolate those who are positive, and they are more likely to withdraw from [social] mix and decrease the number of infectious cases present in a larger context. “
Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the NHS Test and Trace, said: “This is a major breakthrough, showing that daily contact testing can keep young people in classrooms instead of isolating them in the classroom. House.”
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This notice was published: 2021-07-23 01:11:00