Anger over Covid testing kits in West Norfolk schools 'kept under wraps'
A West Norfolk father has hit out at what he claims are supplies of Covid testing kits in schools being "kept under wraps" – amid a severe struggle by people to secure appointments.
He found out that his son’s primary school had up to ten kits stored. This followed the boy’s mother spending seven hours unsuccessfully trying to book him a test on Monday morning.
Online guidance from the Government, updated on September 14, states: "From 26 August, all schools and FE providers will receive an initial supply of ten test kits.
"These test kits should only be used in the exceptional circumstance that an individual becomes symptomatic and you believe they may have barriers to accessing testing elsewhere. The best and fastest way for students or staff to get a test result is to visit a testing site."
It added that additional tests kits, supplied in boxes of ten, could be ordered online from September 16.
The parents have asked that they are not identified but the father wants people to know that supplies are available in schools – if requested.
He said: “I just feel it’s something the public should be aware of so that other parents, if they are in the same situation as us, could get hold of one of these kits.”
He added: “Some people might not think ‘I’m going to ask my local primary school [for a kit].
“It’s like [the authorities] are playing God with children’s lives. If a child cannot get a kit and ended up seriously ill while there are supplies sitting in schools, how do they square that with their conscience?”
The father was messaged about kits being available in schools after he had vented frustration in a Facebook post over his son not being able to get a test.
He immediately contacted his son’s school and received a return call from the head of school within 20 minutes.
He said: “I was told there were kits available at school but got the impression they were being told to keep that under wraps. It was like they had ten kits but were not supposed to give them out.
“I was asked why I needed the kit and when I explained my son’s situation, I was told we could have one. I’ve got nothing against my son’s school – she was quite happy for me to go and get the kit.
“But when I questioned her about the situation she said ‘I’m not allowed to go into the whys and wherefores.’”
The test was carried out and popped in the post for analysis the same afternoon.
Meanwhile, another Lynn News reader has revealed his frustration at being unable to book a test for a neighbour, only to find an empty test centre two miles away.
John Evans said he had been informed online that there were no available test centres in his area.
"About an hour later I went into Downham Market and they've re-opened the testing site in the car park at the sports ground on Lynn Road - by my satnav that's 2.1 miles from here.
"Problem is it's not a drive-in now. If you're not registered, they won't test you. Needless to say, the place was deserted.
"Catch-22? You can't be tested without being registered but you can't register. You couldn't make it up."