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City Schools of Decatur hopes to start COVID-19 surveillance testing next week

COVID-19 Decatur Trending

City Schools of Decatur hopes to start COVID-19 surveillance testing next week

Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center, City Schools of Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — City Schools of Decatur anticipates starting weekly COVID-19 testing the week of Oct. 11, Superintendent Maggie Fehrman announced last week in her weekly newsletter.

“We are looking forward to launching our weekly COVID-19 testing program,” Fehrman said. “We met with the logistics team [Oct. 1] and they are still experiencing significant delays in obtaining the necessary supplies to conduct testing. They anticipate that all materials will be available next week and we will be able to kick off our weekly testing the week of October 11th.”

Fehrman said at the Sept. 14 School Board meeting that if supplies arrive, the district was ready to begin testing after fall break. In the meantime, CSD will continue point of care testing for those at CSD facilities who show COVID-19 symptoms while on campus. About 1,500 students had signed up and consented to be tested, Fehrman said. The weekly testing will help the district identify COVID-19 cases, particularly asymptomatic cases.

“We really want to try to see that number get up to about 2,500. We know that if you’re testing about 50% or more of your students on a weekly basis, that is really the most beneficial,” Fehrman said at the Sept. 14 meeting.

At the Aug. 10 School Board meeting, Fehrman said the district had been working behind the scenes on the logistics of surveillance testing for a while and added that staff were still planning out how the process would work.

“We will be screening students and staff once a week in our schools,” Fehrman said. “The Department of Health for Georgia is supporting this initiative for school districts, so we were able to use resources from the state, so we do not have to pay for these resources. But it does take a lot of logistical planning and figuring out how do we do the surveillance testing.”

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