Eight teachers have been trained by the Ministry of Health to administer COVID-19 Antigen Tests after the Ministry of Education has mandated all educators not vaccinated undergo tests twice a week.
The training, which took place on September 9, was conducted by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jeremy Claud Myers.
Antigen tests are a method of detecting an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the illness COVID-19. These tests look for antigens, which are protein markers found on the outside of a SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The test is performed on a sample that is taken by swabbing inside the nose. The sample can be processed in a laboratory but is frequently analyzed on-site, often providing results within about 15 minutes.
The Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Services has implemented various measures, which it said are geared towards ensuring the health and safety of teachers and students.
One of the measures is the mandatory testing program for unvaccinated teachers hence, the eight teachers are now able to conduct testing at their various schools and report the samples to the Ministry of Health and Human Services.
“Two teachers from each school will be trained to use the Antigen Test, hence this is just the beginning of a number of training sessions which will be conducted in schools across the Turks and Caicos Islands,” a statement from the Government Press Office said.
The statement declared that the Department of Education was in possession of 1,500 Antigen test kits, which will be distributed to facilitate continuous COVID 19 Testing in schools.
In response to the Antigen Test Training, Minister of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Services, Hon. Rachel Taylor, noted:
‘Every person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic. From wearing a mask to washing your hands to maintaining physical distance and avoiding large gatherings.
Each of us can observe established public health practices that not only reduce our own chances of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus disease, or COVID-19), but also prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our co-workers, friends and loved ones.
“Another practice that will help is testing as many people as possible. Testing can help people determine if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of whether they have symptoms and whether they are at risk of spreading the infection to others.
“Taking measures to prevent the spread of infection will be the most effective strategy for getting us safely back to work and school. “
Taylor added that the Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Services will continue to partner with the Ministry of Health and Human Services and all government and private agencies to provide safer communities for the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.’