Mason City Schools taking part in COVID-19 testing pilot program

Mason City Schools taking part in COVID-19 testing pilot program

MASON, Ohio (FOX19) - Rapid COVID-19 testing is joining the list of safety protocols already in place at Mason City Schools.

Mason City Schools is one of 10 districts in Ohio chosen to take part in the rapid COVID-19 test pilot program.

The pilot program is part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to better identify and trace COVID-19 cases at schools.

As it stands now, Mason City Schools students exposed to someone with the virus must quarantine for two weeks.

With the new program, exposed students will have to get tested twice a week.

If the tests come back negative, the student is allowed to stay in school.

If a positive result comes back, the student will have to quarantine immediately.

High school students will be asked to answer some questions about their activities.

Parents of children, who are identified as close contacts, will be asked similar questions.

Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper said in a video message last week the rapid testing program will help create the best environment for students and staff.

“We are excited to be a part of it because we believe that making decisions based on the medical evidence and data is the best way to create the best environment for our staff and our students in our community,” Cooper explained in the video.

Parents, who wish to have their kid participate in the pilot program, must give consent.

District leaders said they don’t have all the details yet, but once they do it will be communicated to families.

While rapid testing will help catch COVID-19 cases quicker and stop the spread, Cooper urges the community to not let their guard down on hand washing and other preventative measures if they want schools to remain open.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.