Military personnel called in to support Covid testing effort in Oldham schools

MILITARY personnel have been approved to step up the testing effort in schools across Oldham as Covid-19 rates continue to rise.

On-site school testing enables young people to complete rapid lateral flow tests twice a week, which is necessary to detect cases of Covid-19 that may be infectious but have no symptoms.

Identifying a positive case and asking students to self-isolate at the earliest opportunity helps to reduce further transmission which helps keep other young people in school rather than at home self-isolating.

Since April 1, Oldham Council have commissioned BARDOC to provide outreach and training for rapid testing.

Following successful testing efforts in workplaces, mosques, churches, leisure centres and more, BARDOC were asked to reprioritise to respond to trends in rising cases, and commence testing in secondary schools.

To help support BARDOC in this effort a MACA (Military Aid to the Civil Authorities) was requested by Oldham and approved on June 23.

BARDOC will lead the training for 15 military personnel who will support them in their work. BARDOC will retain overall responsibility for the delivery and not the military.

The first school scheduled for support took place on Friday, June 24 and will continue across all eight secondary schools until the end of term (week commencing July 19).

Military personnel have previously been drafted in to sites across Oldham, including the Civic Hall in Uppermill, during January to March 2021 to help with the delivery of large rapid testing sites.

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