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Craven County School System to offer COVID-19 testing at schools

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - The new school year is just days away, and now many districts across the state are racing to update safety protocols for students and staff as coronavirus cases continue to surge.

In Craven County, the Board of Education reversed its decision to make masks optional for high school students and they are now required for everyone.

“Masks will be required, anyone over the age of two through grade 13 in our Craven County Schools so anytime inside one of our buildings masks will be required,” explained Assistant Lead Nurse Luanne Mack.

Mack said face coverings will also be required while on school buses. The decision on masks wasn’t the only one made by the board of education on Tuesday, they also voted to approve offering COVID-19 diagnostic tests for families that opt-in.

“The results we will get in 24 hours, that’s less time your child will not be quarantined or miss school, this is an opportunity to obviously find out quicker if your child has tested positive for COVID, to reduce the amount of exposure, and to get them back in the classroom sooner,” said Mack.

The testing is free and it’s optional for families to participate. Mack said parents will be called if their child develops COVID symptoms while at school and if they grant permission the students will be tested by the school nurses.

Mack says this program can help minimize the amount of time students and staff have to quarantine by allowing them to know the results of their tests within 24 hours.

“Our goal is to get all children back into Craven County Schools. Our goal is also to keep students in Craven County Schools because we know in-person learning is the best for all of our students,” explained Mack.

Nurses are also reminding parents of the symptoms associated with the virus, and urge them to call a doctor and contact their child’s school if they begin to have any of these symptoms.

“Should their child have a temperature of 100 or more, should they have a sore throat, a headache, shortness of breath, cough that’s different from a baseline any vomiting or diarrhea then you need to keep your child home,” said Mack.

Craven County students return to school on Monday, August 23rd.

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