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Education

CMS Seeks COVID Vaccination Status For Employees, Will Start Weekly Screenings

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will start requiring employees to report their vaccination status next week in preparation for COVID-19 screening of unvaccinated staff members.

Administrators will present a report on the program at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

CMS plans to use pooled testing, a relatively quick and inexpensive way to check for the coronavirus in groups of people. Unvaccinated employees will pool samples from a school or other work group for rapid testing. If it’s negative, the whole group is clear; if there’s a positive result, follow-up testing is done to identify the infected individuals.

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services is paying for Gingko Bioworks to handle the weekly screening tests for CMS. Families can also opt into testing for students who have COVID-19 symptoms or who need a negative test to leave quarantine.

The district’s 19,100 employees will be required to report their vaccination status next week, with the testing phased in this month through October.

The latest CMS dashboard shows 382 students and 65 staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

The board meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will stream live on Facebook and YouTube. The agenda includes a vote on the district's mask mandate and on authorizing Superintendent Earnest Winston to move some students into remote learning if COVID-19 conditions warrant it.

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