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New Orleans Public Schools Launches Free COVID-19 Testing Sites For Students, Staff

Aubri Juhasz
At Foundation Preparatory Charter School in Gentilly students are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building.

New Orleans public schools announced Wednesday that it will offer free COVID-19 testing to students and staff even if they are asymptomatic. The district already provides rapid testing to symptomatic individuals through a mixture of mobile units, hospitals and urgent care facilities.

Testing will be available on demand at four sites or can be scheduled online, according to an online flyer released by the district. Drive-up sites include Mahalia Jackson Theatre, UNO Lakefront Arena, The Living School and the former site of Edna Karr High School in Algiers.

The Living School and the former Edna Karr site will be open weekdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mahalia Jackson Theatre and UNO Lakefront Arena will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tests will be non-invasive nasal swabs, according to the district. Results are expected to take between three and five days. Testing will be available at all four locations through the end of the year.

The district releases COVID-19 data weekly on Thursdays. As of last week, six students and six staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus and were considered active cases. More than 140 students and staff were in quarantine due to possible exposure.

Aubri Juhasz is the education reporter for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was a producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. She helped lead the show's technology and book coverage and reported her own feature stories, including the surge in cycling deaths in New York City and the decision by some states to offer competitive video gaming to high school students as an extracurricular activity.

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