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Buffalo Public Schools team up with Erie County Department of Health for voluntary COVID-19 testing program

Buffalo Public Schools team up with Erie County Department of Health for voluntary COVID-19 testing program
Posted at 3:07 AM, Dec 15, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health is partnering with the Buffalo Public School District to establish a free, in-school COVID-19 testing program for students and school staff.

In an online video, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says the program uses federal funding to help keep kids in school safely. She says the goal of this "surviellance testing" is to limit COVID spread in school buildings and classrooms, by randomly testing students who volunteered for the program. The program requires parental consent.

Each week, random students and staff from the group of volunteers would be selected to conduct an oral COVID test, using a PCR swab on the inside of the cheek. Burstein says the tests do not need to be performed by medical staff, but can be completed by the student. She also says they have quicker turnaround time than older tests.

"Working together, we can reduce the COVID-19 risk for students, school staff, and our community," says Burstein.

To learn more about this program and sign your child up, you can visit Erie.gov/SchoolTesting.