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Friday, June 24, 2022

Free free rapid antigen testing for students to continue into term two

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Students across Victoria, including those at Wyndham, will continue to be offered free rapid antigen testing for at least the first four weeks of the second semester.

Sixteen million RATs will be distributed starting this week to students, teachers and parents who wish to undertake the voluntary monitoring tests, the state government said.

A Victorian government statement said the Department of Health estimated that voluntary testing prevented 113,500 COVID-19 infections by the first semester, assuming there was a 50% compliance rate in screening students.

Education Minister James Merlino said the surveillance tests had kept thousands of students from getting sick, preventing schools from closing.

“We thank the many Victorian families who have opted into voluntary testing,” Mr Merlino said.

“We’ll keep supporting Victorian families with the cost of living, with free rapid test kits available through schools and early childhood settings for the start of term two.”

Early Childhood Minister Ingrid Stitt said early childhood services were “critical” to children’s early development.

“We’ll continue to support them with strong COVIDSafe measures to keep children and staff as safe as possible,” Ms Stitt said.

The government said testing recommendations will remain the same, encouraging students and staff in primary and secondary schools, early childhood education and care workers, and children to test at home twice a week.

They also urged students at special schools to test five days each week due to the “higher risk for medically vulnerable children”.

Another 60,000 air purifiers are on the way on top of the 51,000 already delivered, the government said.

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