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Norfolk Public Schools to offer free COVID-19 testing to high school athletes

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Teens
Posted at 1:11 PM, Feb 01, 2022

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Public Schools will offer all high school athletes free, optional weekly COVID-19 testing beginning on Monday, February 14, 2022.

“Offering COVID testing is the next step in sound mitigation strategies to keep our sports programs running healthily,” said Stephen Suttmiller, Senior Coordinator of Athletics for NPS.

NPS intends for the testing to quickly identify COVID-19 cases and provide assistance in reducing the possibility of outbreaks.

The testing is offered to everyone in high school athletics, from students to staff, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will cover the cost of testing so that it can be offered free of charge.

Testing will be done on site at each high school by a trained proctor from Mako Medical, the division’s partner for this effort.

Results from the PCR testing will be available within 2-3 days and will be shared with the VDH and appropriate school personnel.

“It can be difficult to social distance in a team setting,” said Dr. Dennis Moore, Senior Director of Student Wellness. “If we can increase our ability to identify COVID cases, particularly in asymptomatic individuals, that’s what we want to do.”

“The Norfolk Public Schools Athletics Department is grateful to families and staff who continue to show teamwork and resilience in the attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Suttmiller said.

Parents will receive consent forms to authorize the voluntary testing within the next few days.