Dear parents/carers and students,

*** Translated versions of this message in Arabic, Turkish, Assyrian, Somali, Vietnamese and Samoan are attached below. 

I am pleased to announce that our College has been selected to participate in a trial to investigate the use of rapid antigen testing. This testing helps to detect COVID – 19 in approximately 15 minutes without the need to wait for the result to come back from a laboratory. We are seeking expressions of interest from families of Year 7-10 students by Wednesday October 27. It is anticipated that the trial will commence in the first week of November.

The trial will be led by the Doherty Institute to investigate the experience of people testing themselves daily at home for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests. The study is being conducted by the Doherty Institute on behalf of the Victorian Department of Health. Home-based rapid antigen tests are approved for use in other countries but haven’t been assessed in Australia as yet. The study will provide valuable information on the role of rapid antigen tests during this COVID-19 pandemic and to determine what information, resources and support are needed for people to undertake daily self-testing.

 The study involves:

  • daily self-collection of a nasal swab and self-testing using rapid antigen tests for 14 days
  • a brief survey to answer each day when you upload the rapid antigen test result and a longer survey when you complete the 14 days of testing
  • on 3 days you will also be asked to collect a saliva swab sample (for laboratory testing)

If you would like to participate you’ll need to take part in a zoom study consent meeting, then you will be provided a study pack to take home if you decide to consent.

The study pack includes:

  •  rapid antigen test kits;
  • educational materials to explain how to collect a sample, perform the test and how to read the results,
  • three saliva swabs and collection instructions.

You will need to have access to a smart device to download mobile applications and upload results, and to the internet to complete the surveys.
If the rapid antigen test produces a positive result, you will be asked to get a follow-up PCR based COVID-19 test as soon as possible and isolate until the result can be confirmed.
Some personal information will be collected and be used to send you surveys electronically and will be provided to the Health Department for COVID-19 case and contact management.                                                  At the end of the study, all identifying information about you will be removed from the study database.

This study has been ethically approved by the Royal Melbourne Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee and approved by the Strategic Research Unit, Department of Education and Training.

If you would like to be involved please contact reception at your son/daughter’s home campus by Wednesday October 27 at 4.00pm.

Blair St Campus – 9302 6000
Dimboola Rd Campus – 9099 1000
Town Park Campus – 9066 3600

Regards

Jeff Mulcahy
College Principal

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