Duluth Schools offer free COVID testing as winter break ends

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 6:11 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - The holidays are over, and kids will be heading back to school this week.

That has health experts concerned about a potential post-holiday COVID surge that could disrupt in-person learning.

Signe Mead is a sophomore at Duluth East High School and will be restarting classes Tuesday.

“We didn’t really do a lot of traveling over break, but just to be safe,” said Mead.

For peace of mind, Mead and her dad decided to take advantage of the free testing site the Duluth School District set up.

“We’ve been going to the DECC, and that’s convenient also, but they’ve got different hours that they are closed during the week, and so we just thought we would take advantage of this. It’s ideal,” said Signe’s father, Eric Mead.

On Monday, district students, staff and families could stop by one of the two free COVID testing sites on the west and east sides of town.

With 800 tests available, district leaders hope this will stop an outbreak from disrupting learning again.

“We are really trying to do everything possible to balance safety and also try to keep our kids in person for in-person learning,” said Duluth Public School’s Superintendent, John Magas.

Magas said they planned the pop-up sites before the break even started.

“As we were going into the winter break, we weren’t 100% sure where we would be with the unfolding omicron variant and things like that, so we wanted to make sure we were doing everything possible to ensure safety,” said Superintendent Magas.

Parents and students are thankful for the extra precautions in a school year made up of COVID curveballs.

Superintendent Magas said he hopes these post-break tests will help ease the strain brought on by substitute teacher and bus driver shortages in the district.

They hope to do more like this in the future.

If you would like to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test, click here.

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