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Bladen County Schools moves forward with COVID-19 testing for staff and students

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -Bladen County Schools is moving forward with plans to test students and staff for COVID-19.

Weekly testing will be done through MAKO Labs, the state’s vendor for school COVID testing. The testing will only be for staff and students who opt-in and are asymptomatic.

The process will be done in what’s called pooled testing — six students will be tested and all of those tests are put into one testing tube. If the test comes back negative, then those students are all presumed to be negative; but if the test comes back positive, then MAKO Labs will come back to the school within 24 hours to individually test those six students. As long as those six students are not symptomatic then they are not required to quarantine until it is determined which student(s) are COVID positive.

All tests will be PCR tests, not rapid tests.

During the Bladen County Board of Education meeting Monday night, the board heard how this process will work. Some board members expressed concern over false positives, specifically anyone who might have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days from the day that they are tested. Those concerns are going to be addressed with MAKO Labs.

Parents and staff will receive a letter and electronic registration form to fill out if they wish to opt-in for the testing.

The testing is expected to begin within the next two weeks.

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