Orange County health officials to launch program to randomly test students for COVID-19 at school

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — About three months into the academic year, Orange County Public Schools has about the same amount of COVID-19 cases as it did during the last school year.

The Orange County Health Department is launching a new pilot program to help the district make informed decisions.

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“We are in the process of selecting one school where we will test 10% of the student population weekly,” Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said.

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The health department will be measuring the level of virus spread without symptoms in students.

Pino said the project will be at a high school chosen by the health department and the school board.

Consent from parents will be required for their children to be tested once a week.

READ: August, September were top 2 deadliest months of the pandemic in Orange County, officials say

The district and health department are still working out how to choose the 10% of students.

This type of surveillance is something officials have wanted to do for a while, but when the case numbers were so high, the health department just didn’t have the time or resources for it.

READ: Florida reaches 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate below 5% for first time in months

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.