Spokane Public Schools selected to participate in state’s COVID testing program

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools could offer COVID-19 testing to students and staff as soon as next month.

The district is one of 10 chosen to participate in the state’s school-based COVID-19 testing program, Spokane Public Schools announced Tuesday in a letter addressed to families. 

The district will collaborate with the Department of Health for the program, which is funded by the state. 

This opportunity reflects recognition of our district’s thoughtful and successful planning for reopening school buildings,” the letter reads in part. 

Since students first returned to the classroom in early October, virus transmission rates have remained low throughout Spokane schools. Once the program is implemented, students and staff will be able to get tested on a voluntary basis. That testing will help limit virus spread in schools and keep people safe, according to SPS.  

READ: Spokane Public Schools sees low COVID transmission rates, prepares to welcome more students back 

“Although we are in the initial exploration and planning stages of the testing program, current conversations are focused on a potential start of testing in January,” the letter reads. 

SPS says it will provide families with more information on testing protocols, the tests themselves, volunteer testing, and contact tracing as it becomes available. 

“It is our goal to put the best possible protocols in place to address the safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and families,” it reads.

READ: New report looks at the efficacy of COVID testing in schools