Community thanked for help in setting up rapid testing centre at college
- Credit: Andrew Davis
Governors, teachers and parents have been hailed for their effort in getting a rapid Covid-19 testing centre up and running at the community college.
Exmouth Community College has transformed PE storage space and a former drama classroom into a rapid testing facility at its Gypsy Lane site to increase safety on site.
Teachers working with students from vulnerable or key worker families were among the first tested with students in years 7,8 and 11 following shortly after.
Principal Andrew Davis said the college ‘jumped at the opportunity’ to have a test centre on site.
He added: “We thought it would be great to get the test centre here for ttudents so they are not transmitting the virus back to their homes and for staff it means they can come to work in confidence and won’t be spreading the disease into the wider community.
“It also provides some relief to the community that the tests work.
“I couldn’t praise enough school staff and the community effort.
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“The last nine months have been really trying and the school has done really despite everything that’s been thrown at us.”
The test centre manned by 14 people – made up from teachers, staff and community volunteers – led by deputy principal David Turner, assistant principal Philippa Rowe and site manager Matt Burrells.
The test centre was up and running by Wednesday (January 5) with staff who work with vulnerable children and students from families of key workers were the first to get tested.
This was followed by other staff and students.
Mr Davis said those students who are tested do so on a voluntary basis and permission is sought from their parents/guardians.
Those tested for the first time will need to be re-tested within three to five days.
Staff will then be tested weekly, while students are tested whenever they have contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Davis praised parents and the community for how they stepped up and volunteered to help.
He added: “The volunteers have been brilliant – the community response has been fantastic.
“We have had administrators, nurses, doctors volunteering – and that’s really helpful when it comes to training.
“Having medically-trained people was particularly useful.”