Students In Davis School District Take Part In Pilot COVID Testing Program

Dec 7, 2020, 12:42 PM

SYRACUSE, Utah – Students at Syracuse High School are the first to take part in a pilot COVID testing program to avoid another soft shutdown.

The school is administering rapid tests to students who volunteer, but they need 80% of student participation.

Rapid testing started shortly after the first bell rang Monday.

“I think it’s a good idea,” senior Keeley Fojtek said. “I think it’s a good way to be able to make sure the schools are safe and to prioritize education.”

For 18-year-old Fojtek, getting a rapid test was no big deal.

“I work at a long-term care facility,” she said. “So I have to get tested twice weekly for my job because I’m a CNA, and I’m working with elderly immunocompromised patients.”

However, for some of her peers, it may be their first time getting a rapid test.

It is all part of the “Test to Stay” pilot program in conjunction with the Davis School District, the Utah Department of Health and the Davis County Health Department. Officials are attempting to avoid a second soft closure at the school after reaching more than 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last 14 days.

“They have to volunteer to come down here and be tested,” said DCSD spokesman Chris Williams. “We’re hoping to get 80%of the student body to participate so that we have confidence that if we have school tomorrow that there are healthy students in the school.”

With the parents’ permission, nearly 30 nurses are administering the tests to those students volunteering to be tested. If they do not meet the 80% threshold, remote learning starts tomorrow, which is something students like Fojtek don’t want.

“We don’t like this back and forth; we don’t like the four days a week and then getting quarantined and being all online,” she said. “So anyway we can stay four days a week and be safe and healthy in the process is going to make a big difference in our education system.”

District officials expect to announce if they reached the 80% threshold by the end of the day.

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Students In Davis School District Take Part In Pilot COVID Testing Program