Military personnel set to support the testing effort in Oldham’s schools

Date published: 25 June 2021

With rising COVID-19 rates in Oldham, military personnel have been approved to step up the testing effort in its schools.

On-site school testing enables young people to complete rapid lateral flow tests twice a week.

This testing 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 and not at home self-isolating.

Since April 1, 2021, Oldham Council have commissioned a provider - BARDOC - to provide our outreach and training for rapid testing.

Following successful testing efforts in workplaces, mosques, churches, leisure centres and more, BARDOC were asked on Thursday, June 17 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 then approved on Wednesday (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.

Eight Oldham schools are scheduled to receive support, and the Council has confirmed that this will continue until the end of term – namely the week commencing July 19.

Military support has been approved before in Oldham, with personnel being drafted in January to March 2021 to help with the delivery of large rapid testing sites across the borough.

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