Students, staff at Ottawa school to receive asymptomatic COVID-19 tests this weekend

OTTAWA — A west-end elementary school will be the first school in Ottawa to offer voluntary COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic students and staff.

An on-site mobile testing clinic will be held at Manordale Public School on Sunday for families of students and staff.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says the school was selected as part of a follow-up to a partial COVID-19 outbreak at the school.

Five students and a staff member at Manordale Public School have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Ontario Government announced Thursday that “targeted voluntary testing” of asymptomatic students and staff will be carried out at schools in areas with high active cases of COVID-19.

Ottawa’s public school board says the child’s test will be done in the mouth and the front of the nose.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce said school-based testing would be considered at schools where individuals have tested positive and there’s a number of close contacts recommended to seek testing.

“While Ottawa has recently seen stabilizing or lowering COVID-19 indicators, the taskforce and its partners continue to seek opportunities to leverage testing capacity and break chains of virus transmission, especially in priority settings in our community such as schools, (long-term care homes), etc.,” said the taskforce.

“Our goal is to make it easier to get tested by providing the testing at or near the school. The focus is on individuals without symptoms, and symptomatic individuals are asked to seek testing from regional assessment centres or care clinics.”

Further information on testing at schools will be sent to parents, students and school staff.

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