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The Department for Health and Social Care has released its list on how COVID tests are prioritised, with acute clinical care topping the list.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that priority went first to support acute clinical care; second, to support and protect people in care homes; third to NHS staff, including GPs and pharmacists; fourth, targeted testing for outbreak management and surveillance studies; and fifth, testing for teaching staff with symptoms, "so we can keep schools and classes open."
School pupils however are absent from the list.
After schools, the general public (with symptoms) is next on the prioritisation list, with priority given to those in areas of high incidence.
The list comes as new COVID-19 mitigation measures are expected to come into effect, as the latest ONS figures indicate 6,000 new infections a day, almost double the previous week.
Matt Hancock said: "We know that the epidemic is currently doubling around every 7 days and that if we continue on this trajectory, we could see 50,000 cases a day by mid-October."
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