Superintendent Pascal Mubenga announced at the March 11, 2021, work session of the DPS Board of Education that DPS is partnering with Ottendorf Labs to provide asymptomatic PCR testing for COVID-19 for students, teachers, staff, families, and community members beginning the week of March 22, 2021.
The rapid PCR tests will provide results on average within 24 hours and are effective in detecting COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. The tests will be offered upon request for free. Ottendorf, a state-certified testing lab, will report positive results to the staff member or student’s parent/guardian, to the state Department of Health and Human Services, and to the DPS Lead Nurse for contact tracing within Durham Public Schools.
“I am so excited that we will have this additional level of protection for our students and staff,” said Dr. Mubenga. “Thanks to the federal grant supporting Ottendorf, anyone who wants it will have easy access to convenient and free PCR level COVID-19 testing.”
Details about the PCR testing rollout will follow. The priorities are easy access to the tests while minimizing distractions to teaching and learning.