COVID testing at schools, what you need to know - News 11's Arlette Yousif reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - While masks are not required at schools, the youngsters are still not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Parents, faculty, and staff are left with decisions to make about each student as the Delta variant is making its way through Yuma County.
Yuma School District One says they are ready for students to return to the classroom.
"We were very fortunate and grateful to have the partnership with our local Yuma County Health Department in helping us acquire the rapid COVID-19 test kits. So we were able to provide that to our staff and students on an optional basis. It is not a requirement. We are going to continue that into this school year as well for staff and students," says Yuma School District One Communications Coordinator Christine McCoy.
Parents will have the option of signing a consent form for the entire school year. However, they will be called before their child is tested for COVID-19 each time. Only students exhibiting virus symptoms will be tested as needed.
The school district is using rapid COVID test kits. Meaning quicker results, but less accuracy.
"It’s everybody’s choice what they want to do, but I personally don’t believe in them. I don’t think they help that much. If they need to do it and if, I don’t know, COVID testing, it may or may not help and you get false positives or false negatives," explains Yuma local Cassi Bickford.
But District One has a plan for that.
"Regardless of whether a child is tested, the test result is negative or positive… regardless of that fact, if they are exhibiting symptoms of illness, they will be sent home," says McCoy.
Families who prefer remote learning can choose to enroll their child in the District One Digital Learning Academy, an education program through District One that has been in place for about seven years now.
"That option is more of a self-paced online program. So, it’s different than what some of our families saw in the 2021 school year where they were learning remotely, but connected to their teacher in classroom," explains McCoy.
Many local districts have detailed information about COVID safety measures being taken on school grounds and encourage parents to check their websites regularly.
Meanwhile, in California, all students and teachers K through 12 will be required to wear a mask while indoors.