The Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) surveillance program in Victorian schools has been extended for a further six weeks until the end of Term One along with other COVID-Safe measures.
Announced by Premier, Daniel Andrews, the surveillance testing was initially set to run for only the first four weeks of the Term.
“Government will distribute an extra 24 million RATs to schools and early childhood services to continue the program until the end of Term One,” Mr Andrews said.
“The testing settings will remain the same, with all primary and secondary school students and staff, and early childhood education and care staff and children aged three to five, recommended to test at home twice a week, while students and staff at specialist schools are recommended to test five days a week,” he said.
“The school surveillance testing program has been extremely effective at reducing transmission in schools – with Burnet Institute modelling estimating that, assuming a 75 per cent compliance rate with screening of students, the program has prevented more than 21,000 COVID-19 infections.”
Mr Andrews said the number of air purifiers in schools would be doubled in the lead up to winter, when windows may have to be shut and outdoor learning reduced.
The Premier said the delivery of 60,000 air purifiers, enough to cover every classroom in Government and low-fee, non-Government schools, would start later this Term and be completed by 1 June.