WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has approved mandatory COVID-19 tests for student-athletes and students participating in some other “high-risk extracurricular activities,” according to a news release from the school system.
The testing will be mandatory, regardless of vaccination status, for all middle and high school students who participate in athletics, performing arts, and other high-risk extracurricular activities in which increased exhalation occurs, the release said. Some examples include marching band, dance team, chorus and JROTC.
Parents must consent to the testing. Those without parental consent or who do not want to be tested will not be eligible to continue participation in the athletic or extracurricular activity.
“The ultimate goal this school year and all school years is to make sure our students and staff are healthy and that they are in school throughout the entire year,” said Tricia McManus, WSFCS superintendent. “We want to make sure we are detecting new cases to prevent outbreaks. Testing combined with other preventative strategies such as masks and handwashing will help us prevent and detect any new cases to prevent outbreaks. It will help us to prevent further transmissions and it will also help us protect our students and our staff from COVID-19.”
The tests will be free of charge to students.
Testing is expected to begin in mid to late September.