COVID testing for teens increase ahead of return to classroom

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With school set to start Wednesday across Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the conversation also continues on keeping students safe inside the classroom.

As parents prepare to send their children back to school, that has also come with getting them tested for COVID-19.

At StarMed, they’ve seen an increase in August.

“For the last three weeks we’ve definitely seen an increase in testing and across the board, there’s definitely been an increase in those individuals under 18 Children, obviously are coming in on parents or wanting to get them tested before school starts,” said StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte.

For parents that testing is a safety net.

“Definitely especially with a lot of people not wanting to wear a mask,” said Timmiesle Taylor.

She, along with her 16-year-old daughter and 15-year-old niece tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

With school starting back Wednesday, she wanted to be safe so she had her 11-year-old son tested by their doctor Tuesday. His results came back positive.

”He complained about having a headache and he has asthma as well so I wanted to make sure before I sent him to school because he complained of a headache, two days ago. And then he said he was fine. Then he woke up this morning and said he had congestion. So I was like just to be on the safe side,” Taylor said.

She is encouraging more parents to pay close attention to symptoms and to get tested.

That advice has trickled down to StarMed. Testing for those 18 and under has increased this month.

From Aug. 1 through Aug. 7, there were 1,047 tested. The next week, Aug. 8 through 15, 1,511 teens were tested. Last week, StarMed says they tested 1,543.

Another concern for Taylor is what happens if a student tests positive? In her case, she has two children who will be missing the first day of school in-person learning.

CMS says a positive student must quarantine for 10 days. If a student is quarantined and school personnel have received verification, the absences are also considered excused, according to the handbook. Students will be contacted by their teacher about assignments.

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