Croydon MP’s anger over testing fiasco as families are forced to self-isolate and miss work and school for two weeks for what “could be the common cold”

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

The MP for Croydon Central has warned that schools in the borough are struggling due to insufficient coronavirus testing.

Each school was given 10 coronavirus tests and is supposed to be able to get hold of more when these run out.

But Sarah Jones has been told of cases by headteachers where this is just not happening.

She said: “We are at the beginning of that phase where people are starting to get flu and when kids go back to school, things go round and people get colds.

“People are thinking, ‘is this Covid or is this something else?’

“I’ve had two parents who came to me where their child had symptoms and they couldn’t get a test.

“There was somebody else who has gone from Croydon to Coventry to get one.

“If the child has to be at home the parents can’t work.”

Without being able to get a test, families are facing the prospect of self-isolating for two weeks for illnesses that could be the common cold.

Ms Jones added: “All you can do is ring 119, at one point there was a four-hour waiting time to order a test. The other alternative is the website, where we have seen lots of cases of no tests being available.

“Schools have put so much effort into getting everything right and kids love being back at school.

“The idea they will be off, or schools will have to face not having enough teachers is so frustrating.”

And Ms Jones is concerned about the wider issue of people in Croydon not being able to access tests and the possibility of those who do have the virus spreading it to others.

“Croydon is a large borough, the numbers of people with Covid-19 is low – less than 10 a day – but obviously a lot of people aren’t accessing tests. We know how quickly the virus can spread once it takes hold,” she added.

“We need to nip this in the bud.”

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