PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Chatham County Schools will begin offering free weekly COVID-19 rapid testing in its schools beginning later this month, the district said in a news release Friday.
Families can choose to opt-in to the program, and if they choose to do so, a parent or guardian is required to give their child’s school a one-time consent for any student under 18 who wants to get tested.
Families can sign their child up for testing at their school’s website or on the Chatham County Schools homepage.
“We want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our students. We want to keep our students in school. Testing is another tool at our disposal to help us mitigate the spread of the virus, which will allow us to continue to work toward our goal of an uninterrupted school year,” Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson said in the release. “We encourage our families to take advantage of this free service to help keep our students and staff safe and healthy.”
Students who participate in the program will be tested as they enter the building in the morning and rapid results will be provided, the district said.
Chatham County Schools provided a timeline for the program’s rollout based on grades:
- The week of Oct. 25 for K-5 students
- The week of Nov. 1 for grades 6-8
- The week of Nov. 8 for grades 9-12
The district said that a grant is covering the cost of the program. That means that testing will be conducted at no cost to the school or the district.
Raleigh’s Mako Medical will administer the tests at the schools.