EDC Educators Begin COVID-19 Surveillance Testing
00:00 AM - October 21, 2020
On Monday, September 28, the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) began COVID-19 surveillance testing for EDCOE team members and school district personnel across the county. Following the California Department of Health recommendation, every month this routine testing system is able to test 50 percent of staff throughout the county, with the goal of tracking any infections and potentially identifying asymptomatic individuals. This routine testing has been made possible through a collaborative partnership that includes El Dorado County Public Health, testing company CovidDx, and EDCOE, as well as a million dollars of CARES funding from the County of El Dorado.
“This collaborative effort is a testament to El Dorado County and how much we care about our schools and one another,” Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent explained. “I want to personally thank our partners for collaborating with us to develop a comprehensive system that will help our schools remain open. If a case is identified, schools will have the ability to quickly take action to help prevent outbreaks.”
“Our County’s Public Health employees are happy to work with EDCOE as a resource to help them interpret trends and understand State requirements as its leaders develop the models they believe will provide children with the best educational opportunities during this pandemic,” said El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer, Don Ashton.
Surveillance testing is a mid-Turbinate nasal test in the front of the nose that is easy, smooth and comfortable. The testing is free of charge to those being tested and results are received within 72 hours or sooner. Dr. Brandon Slockbower is the CEO of CovidDx and explained, “All of our founders are medical professionals with children who attend school in El Dorado County. During the onset of the pandemic, we worked closely with COVID-19, its effects, and the lack of testing resources needed to open schools safely. Our vision was to help create a system to fill the testing need in our community, nursing homes, and help allow kids back in school.”
The surveillance testing being administered allows El Dorado County schools to meet one of the critical criteria set forth by the California Department of Public Health in the guidance for the reopening of schools. There are seven testing sites located across the county to provide easier access for programs and schools. Kevin Monsma, EDCOE Deputy Superintendent, was the project lead for this effort and explained, “The intent of this testing is to not only protect our staff and students, but the health and safety of our colleagues and our organization and our community. Surveillance testing allows our community to monitor how effective our protocols are and ensure that we can respond appropriately.”