Health officials and school administrators say the goal is to detect COVID-19 quickly to prevent outbreaks. Healthcare workers say regular testing is safe and can keep schools open for in-person learning.
We know students learn best in the classroom and keeping schools open for safe in-person learning is a priority. I urge parents to permit their children to participate in the testing program. Our goal is to keep campus staff, students, and families healthy while preventing a need to shut down schools because of a COVID-19 outbreak.”Mayor Sylvester Turner
In addition, regular testing is important for children under 12-years-old who are not able to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Houston Health Department is partnering with Fulgent Genetics to conduct testing. Officials say PCR tests are conducted with a shallow nose swab.
Tests will be conducted in a certified lab and results will be given within one day. Medical professionals emphasize that testing results are shared for public health purposes only. For example, notifying contacts that may have been exposed.
When it comes to testing students and staff, authorities say schools with high numbers and low vaccine rates will be prioritized for testing availability.
Testing will launch later in the school year. At that time, parents will be given a consent form that has to be signed before any child can get tested for COVID-19.
For more information, contact your school district or visit HoustonEmergency.org.
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