Australian Education Union wants asymptomatic random testing for Covid-19

Schools could randomly test asymptomatic teachers, students and staff for Covid-19 under an idea put forward by the country’s main education union.

In the Australian Education Union’s submission to a long-running Covid parliamentary inquiry last month, the union called on the government to improve mitigation measures in public schools which it says are currently “not adequate”.

They say the committee should recommend that a “regular program of asymptomatic testing” be reinstated in all educational settings and mandatory reporting of results.

“And this mandatory isolation from the school or other educational setting is reintroduced for students or school staff who are infected with Covid,” the union said.

“The government’s current approaches to limiting Covid infection, re-infection and prolonged Covid demonstrate a lack of concern for the health and well-being of students, teachers and the wider school community.”

Former Education Minister Stuart Robert said the idea was “mouthwatering”.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s a complete brain fade on the part of the education union,” he told the Nine Network.

Covid is now endemic, which means we treat it like any other endemic disease, this is the medical advice.

“But do we randomly test for chicken pox, measles, mumps or rubella? We do it for the flu and we find another disease that pops up and we stuff little kids up their noses because they have no choice.

“This is crazy. Let’s be sensible.”

The rules relating to schools and Covid-19 are the competence of state and territorial education ministers.

Originally published as Australian Education Union wants asymptomatic random testing for Covid-19

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