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Orange County Department of Health, Orange County Public Schools To Roll Out Rapid COVID-19 Testing In Schools Next Year

Photo: Tim Mossholder
Photo: Tim Mossholder

The Orange County Department of Health has received additional funding from the state that will be used to set up rapid COVID-19 testing in schools next year.

Medical Director Dr. Raul Pino says the department received the 32 million dollars from the state to be used for lab and epidemiological surveillance along with rapid testing. 

Pino says he’s working to devise a plan for testing symptomatic students and teachers which might include the purchase of rapid testing machines for schools.

He says he’s also advocating for placing medical staff in each school that could conduct and read those tests. 

“Locate health department employees in the schools for at least this coming year of some clinical background maybe nurses, LPNs, or medical assistants that would be able to help the schools to control future outbreaks.”

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Pino says the testing will help control outbreaks and limit the spread of COVID-19 in students under age 12 that can’t get the vaccine yet. 

“So the idea beyond the whole amount is to really expedite results, control outbreaks and limit the spread of the disease in the next year.”

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Pino recommends students between the ages of 12 and 18 get the shot as soon as possible so they’re inoculated going into the next school year. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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