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Perrotet’s RATs Shortage Means We Don’t Know Real Case Numbers before school returns

The NSW Government have issued advice for Term 1 2022 COVID-smart measures for schools saying "Since COVID-19 remains a relatively mild illness for most children, the NSW Government is committed to return to school safely in 2022". Before the start of term 1

All staff and students are asked to take a rapid antigen test and get a negative result before attending school.

Rapid antigen tests will be provided to all staff and students through their schools. Schools will inform parents on how these kits can be collected.

At the commencement of term 1

For the first 4 weeks, students and staff should take a rapid antigen test twice a week before attending school. Test kits will continue to be supplied by schools. Students who are household close contacts must isolate at home for 7 days. If your child is unwell – even with mild symptoms – you must keep them home and get them tested. If children have any symptoms, they should take a PCR (nose and throat swab) test or rapid antigen test (RAT). If symptoms continue your child should stay home and take another RAT or PCR test in 24 hours. Infectious disease experts have warned that the case numbers don’t reflect the real spread of covid. Local doctor Michael Holland, Labor’s candidate for Bega, says "The NSW Government’s failure to secure enough RATs and make them freely and readily available means we don’t know whether we are in the peak, the beginning or the end of Omicron. “Families and businesses on the South Coast are already struggling. They’re working hard to follow the rules and keep their community safe but Dominic Perrotet hasn’t done his part. People been told to stop doing PCRs and start doing RATs but there are no RATs available.”

"Our local health system has been feeling the strain of the pandemic and is vulnerable to being overwhelmed by the spread of covid.

"Right across the far South Coast, pharmacies are selling out of Rapid Antigen tests within hours – if they are getting any supply at all.

"With the return to school later this week, the community needs to feel confident that the virus will not spread across the region.

“Families and businesses on the South Coast are already struggling. They’re working hard to follow the rules and keep their community safe but Dominic Perrotet hasn’t done his part. People have been told to stop doing PCRs and start doing RATs but there are no RATs available.”

“Dominic Perrotet’s failure to plan has left us in the dark as to the extent of the spread. This is not good enough.”

“The health of our community, our essential services and our economy in NSW is reliant on RATs. They should be free and accessible to everyone. It just makes sense.” NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard told Australian Community Media on January 14th during a photo shoot promotional tour to Moruya that the regions will be prioritised in the roll out of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to schools around the state.

** Of the 9,090 positive RATs recorded since 8 PM yesterday, 8,242 are from tests taken in the last 7 days. Please note there may be some cases included in these numbers where people have reported positive RATs on multiple days and/or where people have also had a positive PCR test during the same reporting period.

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