Regular testing of all students and staff in Baltimore City schools will begin in March as a way to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus in buildings open for instruction.
Schools chief Sonja Santelises said at a school board meeting Tuesday evening that the new testing would be both saliva and so-called pool tests. Pool tests require nasal swabs of a class of students and a teacher to be combined to determine whether the virus is present in the classroom. Santelises said both tests would be a type that is considered the gold standard for coronavirus testing.
“Frequent testing is an important part of our ongoing health and safety protocols,” she said.
More details of the testing program will be announced in the next few weeks.
Currently, about 5,000 staff and teachers have been asked whether they would like to get a vaccine through the city school system, and 2,200 have either been vaccinated or have an appointment.
An additional 1,100 staff members will be surveyed for their interest in getting a vaccine, Santelises said.