Health Minister Vaughan Gething has revealed the government is undertaking a programme of antibody testing of school staff who have been working in hub schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has also made plans for the rapid deployment of antigen testing if there are any outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools or if schools have failed to follow the government guidelines for infection prevention measures.

Schools in Wales have been closed to most pupils since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March but are due to reopen on Monday.

Around 6,000 pupils, the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable, have attended hub schools across Wales since the shutdown and residential and special schools have continued operating.

Mobile Testing Units could be deployed if required and plans have been made to establish temporary testing facilities and drop off and collection routes if needed.

 

In a written statement Mr Gething revealed testing is being rolled out to at least 10% of schools staff who have worked in hub schools during the pandemic.

Over 9000 people will be tested under the programme and the government is hoping the results will assist in understanding the spread of the virus amongst school staff.

In the statement Mr Gething wrote that antibody testing will be repeated following the end of term with an additional sample group consisting of the broader school community.

Retesting of the original group will also take place to provide information about both the duration of the infection for individuals that previously tested positive and the rate of the spread of Covid-19 in individuals that previously tested negative.

Official figures up to May 31 report that a total of 24 education workers have tested positive for the virus out of the 440 tests carried out.

Five more deaths from coronavirus have been reported by Public Health Wales.  The total  number of deaths now stands at 1,502.

There were 46 new cases reported over the last 24 hours taking the overall total for confirmed infections in Wales to 15,577. Yesterday 3,246 tests for the virus were carried out.

— Read more on nation.cymru/news/senedd-roundup-minister-reveals-virus-testing-plans-as-schools-reopen/