Age change will allow children to take COVID-19 tests

Published Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Parents in Coventry are being urged to take children for swab tests at COVID-19 community testing centres after Coventry City Council has taken the decision to lower the age limit.

From Thursday (18 February), children as young as two-years-old will be able to take a Lateral Flow Test. The current age limit is 11-years-old.

The change means parents with children currently attending nurseries and primary schools will be able to take their children along for regular tests.

Around a third of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic – involving people who show no symptoms – and the test will help parents ensure they are not unknowingly carrying the virus and passing it on to classmates.

If they are able to, children can carry out their own swabs, but if not, parents can do it for them. Results are usually back within an hour.

Leader of Coventry City Council, Councillor George Duggins said: “I would urge parents and their children who are attending school to take weekly tests, and to talk to other parents so word spreads about how easy it is and what a difference it can make.

“If we can test children and keep reinforcing the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ messages, we will be able to help them stay in school and get back to enjoying their education and being with their classmates.”

Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health for the city, added: “Only children of key workers and our most vulnerable children currently attend school in person and by taking them for regular tests, parents can help us to keep schools as safe as possible.

“The tests are very quick, and parents will be able to do the swabs. I’d urge parents to also take a test themselves while they are there.

“We now have testing centres around the city, and if everyone who has to go into public places, whether at school or work, can take weekly tests, they can really make a difference in slowing the spread and protecting lives.”

Parents can visit any of the city’s seven community testing centres, at: the Transport Museum in the city centre; the Indian Community Centre in Foleshill; the Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre in Wood End; the Alan Higgs Centre off Allard Way; the AT7 Centre off the A444; the Xcel Centre in Westwood; and the Hagard Community Centre in Willenhall.

Community testing is for anyone who is not showing symptoms of coronavirus and there is no need to book an appointment.  Opening hours at the centres are Monday - Friday: 8am to 6.30pm; and Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 3pm

Anyone with any of the main COVID symptoms should seek a test in the normal way – by dialling 119 or by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. To find out more about testing, coronavirus or local restrictions and support, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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