RAPID coronavirus tests are being rolled out across Essex as part of the Government’s mass testing programme.

County Hall is set to roll out 10,000 lateral flow tests, which give results in 30 minutes.

The tests are aimed at reducing the infection rate in hotspot areas across Essex and help with the introduction of visitors back into care homes.

A spokesman from Essex County Council said: “There is a national pilot scheme testing the use in care homes of the new lateral flow tests - these are the tests that give an answer in around 30 minutes with no need for laboratory processing.

“We are keen to learn from this pilot in Essex.

“We are considering the appropriate use of these tests in other settings, such as large employers, but more work is needed on how this might work.

“The council has now received delivery of its first 10,000 tests.

“We want to make the best use of these test and expect to be focusing on areas were case numbers are highest.”

St John’s Green Primary School, in Colchester, has confirmed a positive coronavirus case in a class group and has sent pupils home.

A letter was sent to parents explaining a case of Covid-19 has been recorded in a Year 3 school group.

One parent said: “I received a call asking me to come and collect my child from school and they handed me a letter. My child has to isolate for 14 days.”

In the letter the school said: “We have been advised by Public Health England there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the school.”

It adds a full investigation has been conducted with Public Health England to identify close contacts.

The letter continues: “In line with national guidance we request that your child now stays at home and self isolates until December 9, when they may return to school.

“We are asking you to do this to reduce the further spread of Covid-19 to others in the community.”

The school will provide remote learning to pupils in isolation.

The letter advises other members of the household to continue normal activities provided their child does not develop symptoms.

Colchester’s seven-day average infection rate stood at 65.2, with 2,213 confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 4pm yesterday, an increase of 20 on Saturday’s case numbers.

In Tendring, the total case number stood at 1,614 yesterday, a rise of nine on Saturday’s figures, with an infection rate of 58.