An Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation that includes rapid testing will be starting in three local school districts in the third week of November. Lakota Local, Mason City, and Princeton City Schools were selected among nine Ohio school districts selected to participate in a rapid coronavirus test pilot public health evaluation.
The quick test will be performed on voluntary participants, with parental and student consent. The test can be performed with results in about 20 minutes. The purpose is to determine if and how cases are spread among children, regardless of symptoms.
“We are proud to be a part of this statewide study,” said Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller. “Having been in school all day, every day, since August 17, our data shows that there is little to no spread in the classroom when everyone is wearing a mask. We are hopeful that our state leaders will use the data from this study to lessen the number of days required for quarantine due to a positive case in a school setting.”
“We are grateful that Governor DeWine and his team recognize how important it is that Ohio’s K-12 schools are open. After three months of being in school -all day, every day – we have seen just how effective face masks are for stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper. “We look forward to getting more scientific data that will be useful for schools dealing with the quarantine dilemma, and will give schools and communities who may not yet have opened their doors more information about how to safely come back to school in buildings.”
“Being involved in this important evaluation,” states Tom Burton, superintendent of Princeton City Schools, “will give the researchers data to understand the potential benefits and risks of mask usage for COVID-19. Scientific data is critical to making the best decisions for our students, staff, families, and communities.”
The voluntary evaluation is being sponsored by Governor DeWine’s office, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Department of Insurance. For more information, visit https://u.osu.edu/cphp/covidconnect/