RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has selected 17 school districts and 11 charter schools to participate in a pilot program to participate in COVID-19 rapid testing in K-12 public schools where any in-person instruction is happening.
Health officials said, “The goal of the rapid testing program is to slow the spread of COVID-19 by quickly identifying students and staff who may have the virus, especially after the holiday season. Schools and districts selected for the program are offering full in-person instruction (Plan A) or hybrid remote and in-person instruction (Plan B).”
The selected schools and districts received more than 50,000 federally funded rapid antigen tests from NCDHHS. The tests will be used for staff and students who have COVID-19 symptoms or who are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Students and staff will have access to more than 200 school-based testing locations across 17 counties as part of the pilot.
“This program gives us another tool in our toolkit to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state and to keep children in the classroom, which we know is vital not only to their academic growth but also to their health and emotional development,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “We will learn from these pilot schools and plan to expand the program early next year. We are thankful to the local education agencies and local health departments in the pilot program for their partnership in these efforts.”
In order for schools to be selected for the first phase of the program, local education agencies had to confirm to their local health department that each participating school can:
- obtain parental/guardian consent prior to testing,
- maintain adequate supplies of personal protective equipment,
- have trained personnel to administer tests or partner with a local health provider and
- report test results to state and local public health agencies.
More information on the COVID-19 testing pilot for K-12 schools is here.
Here is the full list of the participating schools and districts by county:
- Alamance County: Alamance-Burlington School System (33 locations)
- Albemarle County: Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (1 location)
- Bladen County: Emereau Bladen Charter School (1 location)
- Buncombe County: Asheville City Schools (11 locations), Buncombe County Schools (44 locations), Francine Delany Charter School (1 location)
- Cabarrus County: Cabarrus Charter K-12 (2 locations), Cabarrus County Schools (6 locations), Kannapolis City Schools (2 locations)
- Catawba County: Catawba County Schools (29 locations), Hickory Public Schools (9 locations), Newton Conover City Schools (6 locations)
- Durham County: Central Park School for Children (1 location), Healthy Start Academy (1 location)
- Forsyth County: NC Leadership Academy (1 location)
- Gaston County: Gaston County Schools (1 location)
- Harnett County: Harnett County Schools (28 locations)
- Johnston County: Johnston County Public Schools (1 location)
- Lenoir County: Lenoir County Public Schools (17 locations)
- Lincoln County: Lincoln Charter School (2 locations)
- Madison County: Madison County K-12 Public Schools (6 locations)
- Mecklenburg County: Lake Norman Charter (1 location), Sugar Creek Charter School (1 location), UpROAR Leadership Academy (1 location)
- Surry County: Elkin City Schools (3 locations), Mount Airy City Schools (4 locations), Surry County Schools (20 locations)
- Wilson County: Wilson County Schools (2 locations)