Raleigh firm to handle school virus tests for much of NC
With coronavirus cases surging in North Carolina and most public and private schools preparing to start a new year in the coming weeks, state health officials on Thursday announced a major partnership to expand virus testing in schools statewide.
NEARLY DOUBLED OVER THE PAST MONTH. IF YOU HAVE BEEN TESTED THE PAST FEW DAYS, YOU MAY HAVE WAITED IN LINE LIKE THIS YESTERDAY. >> THE STATE ANNOUNCED MAJOR PARTNERSHIP WITH TESTING COMPANIES TO SLOW THE SPREAD AS MORE STUDENTS RETURN TO CLASSROOMS ACROSS THE STATE. KEELY ARTHUR LIVE AT ST. MARY'S SCHOOL IN RALEIGH AFTER SPEAKING TO ONE OF THE COMPANIES ABOUT HOW THIS WILL ROLL OUT. >> Reporter: THIS IS A BIG PARTNERSHIP WITH MANY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS LIKE THIS ONE, ST. MARY'S IN DOWNTOWN RALEIGH NOW TESTING. IT WILL BE THE NORM FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF. TESTING COST A LOT OF MONEY AND REQUIRES A LOT OF RESOURCES. TO HELP HANDLE ALL OF THIS, THEY NEED TO HIRE 300 PEOPLE. >> RISK MITIGATION FACTOR THAT HELPS REDUCE THE SPREAD BUT NOT ANYTHING. >> Reporter: WHAT WE KNOW AS VACCINATION RATES LAG AND OTHER STUDENTS YOUNGER STUDENTS ELIGIBLE, TESTING CAN BE A BIG HELP. >> REDUCE INFECTIONS BY 50% WITH ROUTINE WEEKLY SCREENING PROGRAM. >> Reporter: THE CEO CITING A STUDY FROM THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER. HE WON A BID. >> WE HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE COLLECT THE SPECIMENS AND GET IT BACK TO THE LAB AND THE LAB NEEDS TO RUN AND REPORT RESULTS. >> Reporter: HOW OFTEN WILL YOU BE TESTING? >> SCHOOLS GET TO CHOOSE HOW THEY WANT THE TESTING PROGRAM TO BE PERFORMED AND RUN SO WHETHER THAT IS A WEEKLY BASIS FOR MORE ROUTINE TESTING OR TESTING ATHLETES OR INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19 POSITIVE. IT ALLOWS THAT FLEXIBILITY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL. >> Reporter: DISTRICT LIKE ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOLS, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, AND NASH COUNTY SCHOOLS HAVE OPTED IN. WAKE COUNTY HAS NOT BUT THEY HAVE TIME TO CHANGE THEIR MIND. >> I THINK SCHOOLS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPT IN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 13 AND PROBABLY AFTER THAT AS WELL. >> Reporter: TWO MEDICAL COMPANIES WON THE CONTRACT. MAIKO WILL HANDLE THE EASTERN AND CENTRAL SCHOOLS AND IN BIOSCIENCE WILL HANDLE THE REST TO SEE IF YOUR SCHOOL HAS OPTED IN, WE HAVE THE FULL LIST ON OUR WEBSITE AND WRAL NEWS APP