Helping Manage Covid-19 Risk in Schools: Results from the Synoptic Reactivate Pilots at schools in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire
Through Synoptics’ Reactivate software, we can enable schools and businesses to effectively manage and contain Covid-19, using our app and management dashboard. To demonstrate this, since September 2020 we have been piloting this software at three UK schools, with over 2900 participants. Not only has this led to 80 interventions, preventing potential Covid outbreaks and spread, but it has provided new insights as to how schools, business and the Government should look to respond to Covid-19 spread.
Bridging the gap between the workplace and household
Within 2 weeks of the pilot, we found that 9 out of 10 teachers having to isolate were doing so because members of their household had either been infected or potentially exposed, and not because they themselves were symptomatic. This still prevented these teachers from attending work and had immediate financial ramifications on the school due to the additional cost of a substitute teacher. What quickly became clear is that any attempt to manage covid risk in schools would have to address the need to bridge the gap between a private household and a school, so that enable both could have access to testing, thereby helping staff members to return to school in the event of a negative test.
Asymptomatic Infection Detection
Using our Reactivate solution and antigen tests, we were able to prevent asymptomatic cases from reaching school premises. In one instance, we were able to pick up two asymptomatic cases, which were then corroborated by a PCR test and prevented further infection and the need to shutdowns. In compliance with Government guidelines, Reactivate reports any necessary information to PHE so that school staff members can get on with teaching their pupils. Auto-isolation to prevent infection risk Once infection risk was identified through our app, an auto-isolation of the schoolteachers, students and households potentially affected was initiated, with the results shared with the NHS test and trace app. Those asked to isolate were then provided with a Medatest Spring Lateral Flow test which a recent Barts Hospital study showed had extremely high day 1 to 3 detection rates, outperforming existing main brand lateral flow tests.
Absence reporting has been a problem in schools since before the pandemic. Reactivate ensures that the relevant people have the data they need when they need it. School management can see real-time symptom screening, isolation and test results of every school member and can therefore understand and analyse the reason for their absence.
Schools and parents found the home testing process to be difficult, time-consuming, and hard to record and manage. The Synoptic app streamlines this process and helps data collection and accessibility. With home tests now becoming voluntary, use of the Reactivate app can help drive uptake and enable continued data collection to inform decision making. We also have the ability to utilise AI based fraudulent result detection, which helps to maintain the integrity of Lateral Flow Test results and can support home testing.
Quantifying the impact of vaccination
We are currently integrating the vaccination API into the App, and separately with the Antibody Test team, where our MHRA quantitative home test can assess and share the efficacy of each vaccine, something of real importance moving forward, especially to deliver scientific data for policy decisions.
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