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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 167359, tabled on 11 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a system by which a negative PCR test for covid-19 can overrule a positive lateral flow test conducted at a school.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

24 March 2021

Recent evaluation of lateral flow tests suggests they are at least 99.9% specific which means that the risk of false positives is extremely low.

Tests taken on test sites, such as on school and college grounds, do not currently need confirmation by polymerase chain reaction testing. This is because these tests are done in a supervised environment where the individual being tested swabs themselves under supervision of a trained operator, and the trained operator processes the test and reads the result.

Named day
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