5 Tips for Rapid Covid-19 Testing in Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, and Nurseries

We’ve spoken with some of the teams involved in Coronavirus Lateral Flow Testing in schools, and now we know about return to school on 8th March in England and 22nd February in Scotland we would love to share some tips with you:

Start with the 3 R’s:

  1. Reading: the team will have plenty of information and training courses to read through – be prepared for this, but remember to check that what they have read actually went in. A quick dry-run before you start testing is an excellent way to be sure everyone in the team is ready.
  2. Writing: the nature of the task involves a lot of careful record keeping, entering of results and data handling. Pick someone that just loves this kind of thing and you are off to a great start – they don’t have to be medically minded, just happy with mountains of data.
  3. aRithmetic: From your guidance notes you can quickly multiply the number of test booths by the number of tests per hour to get the number of hours needed for testing – but we think you will find it flows much faster after the first day or so. Keep simple and flexible to keep the task moving quickly, you don’t want the test team losing momentum.
  4. Add a dash of Common Sense – both the testing team and pupils will be new to this experience, but you will find that we try to do what is right and get it all wrong. If the same mistake keeps on happening, a simple smiley sign can do the trick or a quick team huddle (distance!) to crack the problem.
  5. Spread positivity – we are in testing times – look out for ways to testing a positive experience for everyone. Just as worry, fear and irritation can be transmitted even through masks and visors, so can assurance, friendliness and calm. Why not make this an enjoyable, rewarding, even fun time to remember – there is no doubt this is a unique chapter of our history.

Disinfecting Covid In Schools

Which Covid test kits to buy for use in schools

The well-known Roche Test Kits are a popular choice for many, but are not as well suited for schools and nurseries as our Hughes Acon Flowflex test kits.

This is because the Roche rapid covid tests require a swab of both the throat AND the nose, whereas the Hughes Acon test kits are a nasal-swab only, making the experience much more pleasant for the juniors in these surroundings.  And the teachers and support staff typically will appreciate a nasal-only swab too, especially those with a strong gag reflex (technically a pharyngeal reflex) – and especially when required to take a rapid covid antigen test once a week or more, daily is recommended for some applications.

Covid Test Kits For Schools

And if everything comes down to the lowest cost, the ultra-accurate Swiss Point of Care option is the one to buy, although it’s not quite as convenient as the Hughes Acon tests which have the test liquid in individual dose vials – by contrast, the Swiss Point Of Care rapid covid test kits come with 1 bottle of test fluid between 25 test kits, which reduces the cost.  While the Swiss kits are the cheapest, they are just as accurate as the Hughes test kits.

How much time should you allow for rapid Covid tests in education environments?

Speed is another consideration when testing in schools and nurseries.  While our rapid test kits are designed to give results within around 15 minutes, you may want to allow up to 30 minutes for the entire process including taking the swab, getting it down to 15 minutes per person may take a while to perfect!

With a bit of practice and routine and organisation, 20 minutes per person should be achievable, and our convenient testing booths packages facilitate multiple tests to be carried out simultaneously in the same room.