Daily testing for contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection and attendance and SARS-CoV-2 transmission in english secondary schools and colleges: An open-label, cluster-randomized trial

The LancetYoung BC, Eyre DW, Kendrick S, et al. | September 16, 2021


In England, self-isolation at home is recommended for school-based COVID-19 contacts, which results in missing key educational opportunities. Findings from this trial suggest that for control of COVID-19 transmission, daily testing of contacts is non inferior to self-isolation.

  • In secondary schools and further education colleges, an open-label, cluster-randomized, controlled trial was performed to evaluate daily testing of contacts as an alternative to self-isolation at home in control of transmission.

  • In the 10-week study, researchers randomly assigned 201 schools to self-isolation of school-based COVID-19 contacts for 10 days (control) or to voluntary daily lateral flow device (LFD) testing for 7 days with LFD-negative contacts remaining at school (intervention).

  • Among students and staff, the two approaches resulted in similar rates of symptomatic infections.

  • School-based contacts had low infection rates, with very few school contacts testing positive.

  • Consideration can be given to implementation of daily contact testing as a safe alternative to home isolation following school-based exposures.

Read the full article on The Lancet