covid-19 testing

Districts Begin COVID-19 Testing Before Kids, Teachers Return to Class

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The omicron variant has quickly pulled North Texans back to where they've been before, staffing shortages due to sick workers, hospitals nearing capacity, and the governor calling for help.    

Now, North Texans prepare to send their children to school, in a state where masks aren't required.

Districts are left to figure out safety protocols on their own.

"I think that was the most scary part, how fast it can spread being with family for the holiday," said Cassandra Lott Woods, assistant principal, Ed Walker Middle School.

She stood in line Monday with many of her colleagues getting tested to make sure they're safe before they go back to the classroom.

"We're all really concerned. We trust in the leadership of the school, the superintendent," Woods said.

Dallas ISD is urging parents to also bring their kids to be tested before they come back to class.

The Lancaster ISD is making changes to its return-to-school plan after the holiday break amid the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases.

Uplift Education is doing the same thing, at a testing clinic Tuesday.

"We're doing everything in our power to keep our classrooms learning and keep everyone happy and safe while they're learning," said Yasmin Bhatia, CEO, Uplift Education.

Both Uplift and Dallas ISD will offer more testing once school reopens Wednesday.

"All of our campuses have received their own testing equipment and kits to perform the tests on-site," said Robyn Harris, spokeswoman, Dallas ISD.

The Lancaster ISD is going entirely virtual this week and offering to test later in the week.

"Our hope is that when we go in and assess everything at the end of the week, our hope is to be able to bring our students and staff back on Monday, Jan. 10 in good health," said Kimberly Simpson, Lancaster ISD spokeswoman.

"The hope is that we will be able to return to in-person learning because that is the ultimate goal," she said. "We want to be able to educate our students in person"

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