Covid testing will begin today [Monday] in Spokane’s public schools.
The district hopes eventually to institute regular surveillance testing for all students and staff members.
“Even if they’re not symptomatic, they don’t know of any exposures, they can test every week or every two weeks on a regular schedule. It’s just a way to pick out people, they test positive, even though they didn’t know they had it," said Becky Doughty, the district's director of health services.
But for now, with the county’s case counts still high, Doughty says the program will start with testing staff and students that do show symptoms.
She says the district will open a drive-through testing clinic for people who aren’t attending school Monday at Chase Middle School. She says a second drive-through clinic is expected to open next week at Shadle Park High School. Sometime soon, the district also hopes to administer tests to students in school health rooms.
“We’re hoping that’s going to address some access to care issues that our families have for those kids that maybe don’t have a provider or the parent is going to have a hard time finding a place to have their kiddo tested. We’ll be able to do that before they leave the health room and go home," Doughty said.
The district is participating in a state Department of Health pilot program.