Kirklees surge testing targets schools

Kirklees Council will ramp up its surge testing activity tomorrow (Thursday 27 May) as it asks children and parents from four local schools to get PCR tested for Covid-19.

All pupils, and everyone they live with (over the age of 11), will be asked to a take a PCR test if they go to the following local schools where we have seen an increasing number of cases recently:

  • Salendine Nook High School, Huddersfield.
  • Spen Valley High School, Liversedge.
  • St. John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury.
  • Royd’s Hall Community School, Huddersfield.

With infection rates rising in Kirklees and cases of the variant, first detected in India, identified locally the council has this week stepped up its testing and vaccine offer.

Starting yesterday (26 May 2021), council staff and mobile testing units were out in four locations in Kirklees where infections are at their highest. With high rates of infection in children and young people, the council is now asking pupils – and everyone they live with – to take a test.

The council will provide all children and family members with PCR tests which will give more data to track variants as well as allowing cases to be isolated. Tests will be handed out to children and parents from tomorrow (27 May 2021) and will be returned to the school the following day.

It’s still really important that everyone, including pupils attending any school, to continue to take a twice-weekly lateral flow Covid-19 test.

Kirklees Director of Public Health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, said: “Testing is a really important way of reducing infection rates. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen rates of infection increasing in younger age groups.

“In particular, these four schools have reported higher levels of Covid-19 cases so we want to offer all pupils, staff and their households PCR testing which will give us more insight into what’s driving the increase and prevent further spread. We’ll continue to monitor the data and may introduce surge testing to other schools if necessary.

“I’m really grateful to staff at all the schools for playing their part to deliver this testing and for everything else they have done throughout the pandemic. The support of our schools and their staff has been a fundamental part of our fight against this pandemic and they continue to deliver everything asked of them.

“It’s still crucial that all school pupils, and everyone else in Kirklees, continue to take a lateral flow test twice a week to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.”