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Message From the Head of School

Dual Flow Antigen Rapid Tests

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One of the learnings I have been able to bring to Somersfield is my positive experience with the use of dual flow antigen rapid tests.  At my former school, long before the UK government endorsed their use, we made the decision to purchase and employ dual flow rapid tests as part of our first line of defence in the face of Covid, testing staff and students alike.

I have shared this strategy with my fellow Bermuda independent school heads and I am thrilled that we have all signed up to use antigen testing in our schools on a trial basis. In embracing this opportunity, we are working to support the government’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, and particularly the Delta variant, while at the same time protecting in-person learning to the best of our abilities.  While the corona virus is placing unprecedented strain on our island community I am cheered by the sense of collaboration that has developed between the schools as we tackle the challenge together.

In order for this community wide endeavour to work, we must all do our part.  To that end, we will require all staff and request all students from Upper Primary through IBDP to test twice weekly (Sunday and Wednesday evenings) with the aim of mitigating the risk of an asymptomatic carrier unwittingly infecting our community members.  We also hope that in demonstrating our commitment to regular testing, we will be able to avoid the practice of blanket quarantines being imposed on staff, students and their families when there has been a positive Covid case at the school.  Antigen testing will also allow us to immediately test anyone who develops Covid systems while at school. For our younger learners, we will continue with the government’s saliva testing programme.

We sincerely hope that all our students’ families will participate in our rapid testing pilot in support of the school and greater community. Such ongoing efforts to keep our students and staff safe and in school benefit us all. Should you feel you need to opt out of the programme for any reason, please contact me at phowe@somersfield.bm so that we may discuss your concern.  If you would like to learn more about the test we will be using, please visit https://www.flowflexrapidtest.com

Peter Howe, Head of School