WS/FCS approves mandatory COVID testing plan

Published 5:29 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education has approved mandatory free COVID-19 testing for student athletes and some high-risk extracurricular activities. The board voted on the plan at its regular meeting Tuesday night. The testing will be mandatory, regardless of vaccination status, for all middle and high school students who participate in athletics, performing arts and other high-risk extracurricular activities in which increased exhalation occurs. Some examples include marching band, dance team, chorus and JROTC.

Parents must consent to the testing. Those without parental consent or who do not want to be tested will not be eligible to continue participation in the athletic or extracurricular activity. Testing results will remain confidential and are solely meant to help slow the spread COVID-19 within our highest risk activities.

“The ultimate goal this school year and all school years is to make sure our students and staff are healthy and that they are in school throughout the entire year,” said Tricia McManus, WS/FCS superintendent. “We want to make sure we are detecting new cases to prevent outbreaks. Testing combined with other preventative strategies such as masks and handwashing will help us prevent and detect any new cases to prevent outbreaks. It will help us to prevent further transmissions and it will also help us protect our students and our staff from COVID-19.”

The testing should begin in mid to late September and will be conducted by Concentric by Ginkgo. The tests would be processed in Charlotte.