Charlotte, NC

Ginkgo, MAKO become providers of COVID-19 testing program for K-12 schools

Jerome Quentzel

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CHARLOTTE, NC - Two testing providers, MAKO Medical and Concentric by Ginkgo, have been chosen by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to operate a COVID-19 testing program for all North Carolina schools.

Schools should take advantage of COVID-19 Testing Program advice and compel students, teachers, and staff to wear masks inside all schools. NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry has stated that “One of the key strategies for getting our students back into the classroom safely is a school-based testing program for COVID-19."

NCDHHS will assist all North Carolina schools to get the resources they need to successfully implement a testing program. In addition to testing, encouraging all children and adolescents 12 and older to get vaccinated and wear face masks in school is the greatest way to guarantee that pupils are studying.

COVID-19 school-based testing helps preserve kids and school employees from the future transmission of the virus by enabling rapid detection and reduction of risk. All schools, public and private, can participate in the school testing program. The program is designed to support local flexibility to construct a testing plan that fits local testing needs and CDC advice.

In cooperation with local schools, the district is prepared to serve the needs of end-to-end testing vendors, such as purchasing testing supplies, gaining authorization from parents or guardians to test a student, conducting COVID-19 assessments, and interpreting test results.

The list of participating districts and schools (charter and otherwise) consists of 44 school districts, 47 charter schools, and 48 independent schools. Over 81% of the public school districts and charter schools that elected to participate in the COVID-19 testing and school-based health services funding have hired additional school health team employees to support testing and other school-based health services.

Elementary and secondary schools are being onboarded to the testing scheme over time, and they have until September 13, 2021, to opt-in. K-12 schools are urged to evaluate the health toolkit online.

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