Aurora Public Schools to partner with state for COVID-19 testing program

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AURORA | Aurora Public Schools will be joining the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s COVID-19 testing program for schools, the district announced this week.

In partnership with the CDPHE, the district will offer free voluntary weekly testing to all students and staff members. Students will receive $25 the first time they are tested, and can then receive $10 once a week for each subsequent test. Students under 18 must obtain parental consent to participate.

The testing program will “provide an extra mitigation layer to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the district said in its online message announcing the program, which will begin “within the coming months.”

At the beginning of the school year, district spokesperson Corey Christiansen told the Sentinel that APS would not be partnering with the CDPHE because it already had a testing program through COVIDCheck Colorado.

Christiansen said that the district is still partnering with COVIDCheck, but added the CDPHE testing “to provide an additional layer of protection.” The start date will depend on how soon the state is able to scale its program, he said.

Cherry Creek is also partnering with COVIDCheck and in August said that it would not be participating in the CDPHE program.

Recently, Gov. Jared Polis said that not enough students are participating in the state’s school testing program for it to be effective. As of last week, less than 1% of Colorado K-12 students were signed up with the program, according to reporting from the Colorado Sun.

“It gives us some surveillance data, it’s useful to the state,” Polis said of the program, “but it’s not enough concentrated in any one site to have a significant positive safety impact on any particular school.”

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