Jefferson Parish public schools delay start until Aug. 26

Guidelines for Reopening Schools

METAIRIE – Jefferson Parish Public Schools will not open until August 26.

Jefferson Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. James Gray made the announcement this afternoon at a press conference to announce new partnership with the Ochsner Health System.

Ochsner will provide rapid COVID-19 testing on at schools that will produce test results within 15 minutes, Gray said. That will allow symptomatic teachers to rapidly know whether or not they have the virus, allowing schools to take the appropriate precautions.

However, that rapid response system will not be available until August 26.

“Since COVID-19 rapid testing will not be available until August 26, we have decided to delay the opening of school until August 26,” Gray said. “We remain diligent in our efforts to provide a safe environment, and this will allow us to provide another layer of safety for our employees and students to ensure that we mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Public schools in Jefferson Parish were originally scheduled to open on August 12. Gray said he realizes the delay will be a problem for some parents, but said safety concerns are paramount.

“We understand that this may cause some disruption to families who were ready to send their children back to school in person this Wednesday,” he said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but please know we are excited to see your child the week of August 26.”

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