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KC metro schools share COVID-19 mitigation plans as President Biden calls for regular testing

COVID-19 test schools
Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 18:44:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Kansas City metro school districts already had implemented COVID-19 testing and mitigation strategies as President Joe Biden called for students and staff to be tested regularly for COVID-19.

Biden on Thursday announced his six-pronged plan, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States this fall.

Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools recently started a partnership with Children's Mercy Hospital to regularly test students.

More than 500 students currenlty are enrolled in the program, which doctors hope will help show how testing works in different schools.

"We've become very efficient," Dr. Jennifer Goldman, with Children's Mercy, said. "We were able to test 40 students and staff last week within an hour."

The Hickman Mills School District said COVID-19 tests are available in each of its buildings. A school nurse administers tests with parent permission if a student has symptoms or has been exposed to the virus.

North Kansas City schools also have tests available at every site for students and staff.

Any and all mitigation efforts are needed in schools currently, according to doctors.

On Thursday's University of Kansas Health System media call, Dr. Brian Holmes, a family medicine specialist in Abilene, Kansas, said children in school who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated and don't wear masks is a perfect storm.

"I think we need to be stronger in our mitigation that we're doing and do everything we can to ensure that kids can stay in school and not be hampered with having to be home sick," Holmes said.