Student-athletes, cheerleaders and band members offered COVID-19 testing in Birmingham schools

Athletes, cheerleaders and band offered COVID-19 testing at B'ham City Schools

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Bi-weekly COVID-19 testing will be offered for some Birmingham City Schools students.

Birmingham City Schools, Live HealthSmart Alabama, and the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) are partnering to offer bi-weekly COVID-19 testing for students participating in fall sports, cheerleading and band.

The nasal swab testing will be offered at BCS high schools beginning Monday, September 28, 2020. Each school will be assigned a specific date and scheduled time for testing.

“As we continue to look at data, it is abundantly clear that this disease is wreaking havoc on majority black and brown communities. Our goal in offering the test is to help protect our students and their families,” said Dr. Mark Sullivan, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. “This is a game-changer that will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

“Community testing is an essential part of the strategy to contain and ultimately end the pandemic,” said Mona Fouad, M.D., director of the MHRC at UAB. “The MHRC has been a leader in community testing for COVID-19 in Birmingham and Jefferson County since we launched mobile testing locations on April 30, 2020. We are pleased to partner with the Birmingham City Schools to keep students, their families, teachers and school staff safe.”

Positive test results will only be reported to the student or his or her parent or guardian. Each family is asked to report any positive test to the principal at the student’s school.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Individuals who have been exposed to the positive case also will need to self-quarantine.

The cost of the tests will be covered through private insurance or through CARES Act funding from Jefferson County. The total cost of the test will be covered for students who do not have insurance.

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