Students and families have been thanked for getting tested for Covid-19 and, in doing so, playing their part in helping to keep the virus out of the classroom.

The Government has asked that all secondary school pupils take 2 rapid Covid-19 tests, three to five days apart, in school at the start of term. 

Pupils, along with all school staff, should then continue to take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week – either at home or in school – until at least the end of this month, when this policy will be reviewed.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Covid-19 is still rampant in Wolverhampton, with over 1,000 people testing positive in the city in the last week alone.

"Rapid testing is key to identifying cases among people without symptoms of Covid-19 which in turn is helping us to stop the spread of the virus, and I would like to thank everyone who is making the time and effort to take a regular test.

"Our ask is that secondary pupils, and all school staff, continue testing twice a week, as do other members of their households, so that – as far as possible – we keep Covid-19 in check."

Staff and pupils who return a positive rapid test result must self-isolate and book a PCR test. If the PCR test is taken within two days of the positive rapid test and is negative, they can return to school, as long as they don’t have any symptoms of Covid-19.

People are no longer required to self isolate if they live in the same household as, or are a close contact of, someone with Covid-19 if they are below the age of 18 and a half, or are fully vaccinated or cannot have the vaccine for medical reasons. Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and advised to take a PCR test.

Free walk-in rapid Covid-19 testing is available at the Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, the Jamia Masjid Bilal, Newhampton Road, from 10am to 7pm daily, and The Hub at Ashmore Park between 9am and 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

Rapid Covid-19 testing can also be done at home using test kits. These can be picked up from the mobile Covid-19 test unit, Bilston and Wolverhampton Markets, WV Active leisure centres, Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre and from pharmacies offering the Pharmacy Collect service (details at NHS). 

Sixteen and 17 year olds are also urged to get their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, with uptake currently much lower in Wolverhampton than in other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, face coverings should continue to be worn in enclosed and crowded spaces, such as on public and school transport.

For more information about the return to school, please visit GOV.UK.  
Latest figures show there were 387.3 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 1,019 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.