Central Dauphin School District eyes full-time in-person classes

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Central Dauphin School District is preparing to potentially bring students back to the classroom full-time starting in mid-October.

The school board will vote Oct. 5 to potentially resume Monday through Friday in-class learning as soon as Oct. 13. The district says it will have a Covid-19 testing plan in place to help with safety efforts.

The district recently approved a testing plan to help with mitigation efforts and stop the spread of Covid-19. It is partnering with Quest Diagnostics for on-sight testing.

If a student or staff member is experiencing symptoms, they will get tested using a nasal swab in a designated location. The goal is to get results back within 48 hours.

Dr. Amy Zellers will lead the effort and she says it will be a big step forward to help keep everyone safe.

“This is the PCR test, the preliminary chain reaction, so this is not an antigen test or antibody test,” she said. “This test is the most sensitive and specific at detecting an infection and having low false positives and false negatives.”

Zellers says contact tracing information gathering will begin during the initial visit with the school nurse. “Starting the process early will allow people to remember who they came in contact with at lunch and at other locations. We hope to have the test results back within 48 hours to 72 hours.”

The district will also begin contact tracing efforts and will notify anyone who may have been in contact with persons tested positive.

If Central Dauphin School District is given the green light, the goal is to have the testing in place before the district begins all week in-class instruction.

Students will have the option to not return to class and learn online during the week.

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