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Coronavirus Machine

Discussion in 'Independent' started by andywhizz1, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    Hi

    Just heard that my boarding school is investing in a machine that will allow our nursing staff to get test results in about 1 hour. This seems to be the way forward given the volatility of students being in and out of lessons from different boarding houses so far. Well aware that this is going to cost a lot but well done to SLT for the decision which will allow us to continue to function. Are other schools doing the same?
     
  2. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    I didn’t know any sort of machine like that had been approved. If you have a negative result but have been in contact with a positive case do you still need to isolate until the quarantine period is up? I wonder how long the incubation period is between exposure and testing positive.
     
  3. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster Occasional commenter

    Think we were considering it, but have been advised that with rapid improvement in the testing tech its not worth committing yet, eg if rapid saliva testing comes out in the next couple of months
     
  4. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    A few months of the chaos we are currently experiencing doesn't bare thinking about!
     
  5. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    How is this working for you now? Has it been possible to share it with those outside your school? I heard that there are rules that mean the test results are only valid within the organisation that owns it. Have your school found a way round this so it can be used to benefit the local community?
     
  6. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    Hi. It has made a dramatic difference with houses in isolation for an hour or two instead of a couple of days.

    Not aware of whether we are sharing but we do have a prep school and senior so well over 1000 pupils and 150 teachers. Not sure how many tests a day are possible. Also costs per test on top of the machine cost.
     
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    How is that possible when it can take up to five days from infection before there are enough viral particles to register a positive test?
     
  8. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I don't understand why these big testing centres don't have these machines that give almost immediate results? And why doesn't each hospital have one on site to check their staff so no-one needs to self-isolate? I know they're expensive, but surely buying one per hospital would be much cheaper than having to pay loads of staff to sit at home for days waiting for results? Sorry if I'm missing something...
     
  9. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    A boarding house technically counts as a household so 1 boarder with a temp = whole house in quarantine until you know if they have Covid. With the SAMBA machine you know 90 min later if that quarantine is necessary.
     
  10. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge definitely have one.

    When big independents started getting these they were saying how they’d be used to benefit local state schools and the community too. At the moment I think legislation means that isn’t possible which is really disappointing. They can do 4 tests per 90 min cycle at a cost of about £60 per test - even a really big school is unlikely to be using that at capacity since you will only be testing those with symptoms (unless you start surveying your school pop as a whole, which would be interesting but arguable making sure the village primary can stay open is more important, especially since it probably only involves a few tests). This is a really significant way Independent schools can help their local communities.
     
  11. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    But that one boarder may have so small a viral load that he registers as negative for the first few days. It sounds very dangerous to de-quarantine the entire boarding house before the one boarder has produced negative results on at least two well-separated occasions.
     
  12. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster Occasional commenter

    Population testing in schools also has its downsides as one large boarding school is currently discovering. Seems they found a bunch of asymptomatic cases which led to a whole yeargroup being sent home. Article in todays telegraph suggests parents rather unhappy..
     
  13. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    The state testing system is groaning and we should be able to help if we can. It’s just wrong for us to test lots of healthy kids if there are other schools locally short on teachers potentially due to lack of tests. If everyone could access tests and results this easily it would be different, but as things are we absolutely should be sharing. I don’t think schools are unwilling either, it’s red tape getting in the way.
    From a more self-interested perspective - charitable status and all that. Other ways of sharing facilities and teaching are a bit trickier right now, this is a way we can help.
     
    Boardingmaster likes this.
  14. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    School pupils follow the same protocol as the general population. One negative test = household out of quarantine, as with any other individual. It isn’t up to schools to override government policy which is, presumably, based on expert medical advice. In fact they have to follow it.
     

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