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ASU offering COVID-19 testing, other resources to staff at Arizona schools

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University announced Monday it is partnering with the state’s department of health to offer COVID-19 resources to staff at K-12 schools across the state in order to operate safely amid the pandemic.

The new program – which already includes 14 school districts representing 35,000 teachers and staff – includes COVID-19 testing, professional training for teachers and other assets, according to a press release.

Arizona State University’s goal is to provide school districts surveillance testing to randomly test 20% of employees each week, while also providing priority registration for staff at seven existing public COVID-19 testing sites operated by the university and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Eight new testing sites will also be opened in underserved areas in the Valley and across Arizona, as well as on-site testing for two school districts where the majority of staff cannot access drive-thru testing.

The university in the release said increased testing will help districts better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 within the school and surrounding communities.

“We must find ways to live with the virus; we can’t just sit and wait it out,’’ ASU President Michael Crow said in the release. “That is especially true in K-12 schools. Having schools and classrooms open is critical to the long-term academic, emotional, social and economic success of thousands of our youth.

“The challenges are daunting, for schools and teachers and families alike. We want to do anything we can to help. That’s why we created this COVID-19 school support program designed to help K-12 schools and districts around the state, and beyond.”

Participating school districts in the program include rural and urban areas from the Valley, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe, Miami and Yuma, according to the release.

Arizona State University hopes to expand the program to other districts, and eventually provide testing for students and parents.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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