DeKalb County Schools plans to offer free weekly COVID-19 testing

Stephanie B., RN takes a specimen at the DeKalb County Board of Health COVID-19 testing site located in the parking lot of The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church in Atlanta, July 21, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA — After months of calls from parents and teachers for COVID-19 surveillance testing, DeKalb County Schools is getting ready to offer these tests in schools.

The testing will not be mandatory, however.

“DCSD is excited to offer free, weekly COVID-19 testing for students and staff. COVID-19 testing is a safe, effective way to limit the spread of COVID -19 and continue to keep schools open for in-person learning,” the announcement from the district says. “COVID-19 testing is not mandatory and is being offered to protect students, staff, family members, and our community. Weekly school-based testing will quickly detect, trace, and isolate COVID-19 positive individuals — whether or not they become symptomatic. And, it will provide families and staff with peace of mind. The current safety measures in place, combined with testing for staff and students, will lower the risk of transmission and allow more consistent access to in-person instruction for our students.”

The test will be administered via nasal swab. Weekly testing will be offered at schools.

“Look out for the Voluntary COVID-19 Testing Survey online to let us know you are interested in being tested,” the announcement from the school district says. “The deadline to respond to the survey is October 27, 2021.”

The survey will go out on Oct. 20, a spokesperson for the school district said.

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