CDC Offers Cautions, Guidance for Schools' COVID-19 Testing Strategies
October 16, 2020
New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a framework for school-based testing for COVID-19, detailing who should be tested first and how such screening should be incorporated into schools' overall strategies for controlling the spread of the virus.
It suggests schools prioritize symptomatic individuals and those who've had close contact with those who may be ill with the virus. In a departure from previous CDC guidance, the document also discusses how schools in areas with higher risk of transmission may test broader pools of students and staff as a surveillance tool to monitor the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.
"Schools can help protect students and their families, teachers, staff, and the broader community and slow the spread of COVID-19," it says. "Testing to diagnose COVID-19 is part of a comprehensive strategy and should be used in conjunction with promoting behaviors that reduce spread," like handwashing, regular cleaning of facilities, and the use of face masks.