Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, is today seeking to reassure parents and pupils across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent about the accuracy of COVID-19 lateral flow tests that are being used in schools and colleges across the constituency.
Articles this week, including from BBC News and The Times, are reporting concerns from parents who believe that false negatives from lateral flow tests will impact their children’s education as they will have to isolate. Lateral flow tests are available on a voluntary basis for pupils, households, support and childcare bubbles to break transmission and reduce COVID-19 cases in places of education.
“I have seen that there are some concerns about the accuracy of lateral flow tests which are being used in places of education. I would like to reassure parents and pupils that these tests are 99.9% accurate, which means that 1 in 1000 tests will produce a false negative.
“Importantly, as 1 in 3 of us will not get COVID-19 symptoms, the testing system is in place to reduce transmission in schools and colleges and keep them open for face-to-face teaching. It is of course voluntary, but I would encourage those who can to take part to help keep our schools safe and open.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“This new data further confirms what we know – these rapid tests are extremely accurate and are helping dramatically curb COVID cases. On Monday alone, we conducted over 1.5 million tests.
“Around one in 3 people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms but may still be infectious. This means they could be spreading the virus without realising it.
“Rapid testing can help detect asymptomatic cases quickly, preventing the virus from entering schools, colleges or workplaces, and stopping outbreaks before they occur.”
Those who are eligible can pick up their home testing kits from Walpole Park test centre in Gosport or Cams Alders car park in Fareham between 1pm and 8pm.