NSW officials plan regular reviews of school RAT scheme as students set to return to classrooms

Anton NilssonNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

NSW’s rapid Covid-19 testing program in schools will be continuously reviewed to make sure it’s having the intended effect, the NSW Premier has said.

“We will naturally assess how it's going, and reflect on that, and if there are ways we can improve we will,” Dominic Perrottet told reporters on Friday.

Health and school officials will regularly monitor the rollout of the rapid antigen tests to students to determine what’s working and what might need to change.

Camera IconStudents will be back in classrooms next week. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

With most NSW students due back in classrooms on Monday, the NSW government is in for one of the first major tests of its strategy to “live alongside” the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

NSW Health has flagged Covid-19 cases, which are currently deemed to be stable, will likely rise as a result of classes returning.

But the government has distributed nearly five million rapid tests to schools in an effort to regularly tests students for coronavirus.

The plan is to test each student twice per week for the first month.

However parents have been confused by mixed messages from ministers.

Camera IconNSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the RAT rollout would be monitored to see what can be improved. NCA NewsWire /Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Perrottet has said several times there is no need to do tests on day one of classes, while Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has said the opposite.

“We’re asking all of our students and staff to test before they come back to school for that first day,” Ms Mitchell said earlier in the week.

However the Premier on Friday downplayed the discrepancy.

“Those tests are required twice a week. We don‘t stipulate the date, it’s about being flexible,” he said.

A third of children aged five to 11 have received one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, while four out of five in the age group 12-15 have received two doses.

Originally published as NSW officials plan regular reviews of school RAT scheme as students set to return to classrooms

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