Kansas City Public Schools shifts COVID testing strategy to detect outbreaks early

Tracking Coronavirus

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Public School district began using a new type of COVID-19 testing in an effort to keep students and staff safe.

It’s called pooled testing. All staff and students in a class or pod swab their own noses every week. Then each swab is placed in a single tube. According to the district, the samples in the tube are run using one test.

The district said it is able to save money and test everyone by utilizing pooled testing. The State of Missouri’s Department of Health and Department of Education worked to approve pooled testing for K-12 schools.

The pooled testing screens people without symptoms for COVID-19. The goal is to identify and isolate people who are positive for COVID-19, and can spread it, but do not have symptoms of the virus. The district hopes that the screening will help identify potential COVID-19 outbreaks early.

The program is now being used in 30 Kansas City Public Schools buildings.

At this point, all schools listed on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard are in-person. A total of 20 positive COVID-19 cases and 158 people quarantined across all district buildings were reported between Oct. 11 and Oct. 20. The positivity rate remains high, according to the district.

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