NOLA Public Schools discuss latest on COVID-19 testing in schools


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— COVID-19 cases have been on the rise, so what does this mean for NOLA Public Schools? The big question is will the students remain in the classroom or have to go back to virtual learning?

With the Delta variant continuing to surge in schools testing is becoming a top priority for NOLA Public Schools.

“We will have regular weekly quality COVID-19 testing in our schools city-wide this year,” Dr. Henderson Lewis, Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools said.

Today several students were tested at The NET School in Gentilly. Over 80 schools in the school system will now be conducting weekly COVID-19 testing and students will get $25 for the first test, and $10 for additional weekly tests.

“Testing is one of the best tools we have to combat the virus in our community especially with the amount of community spread,” Dr. Henderson Lewis said.

School leaders say testing, masks, and vaccines for those who are eligible will help keep students in the classroom learning.

“They can develop social and mental life skills while being in school and I can say that as a parent, I see it completely,” Dr. Jennifer Avegno said.

As of now vaccines and testing for students and staff are not mandatory, but highly recommended.

“The more we test, the more we know, and the more we know, the better we respond,” Dr. Avegno said.

And leaders still say schools are a safe place to be for kids right now.

“The Louisiana Department of Health has not recommended school closures. The plan to keep them safe is simple: masks, tests, and vaccines,” Dr. Avegno said.

NOLA Public Schools released the latest numbers on Monday. The school district has 453 active COVID-19 cases with 1,600 students being tested, which is a 1.3 positivity rate. More than 4,600 students and staff are currently in quarantine, which is about one thousand more than a week ago. That represents nearly ten percent of all students and staff in the public school system.

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