MCPS to implement random COVID-19 screening tests for select students

Montgomery County Public Schools will use random COVID-19 screening tests for select students this fall, according to a letter sent to parents this week.

READ MORE: Montgomery County employees must get vaccine or be tested by September 18

MCPS will be using this mitigation tactic for students in grades PreK through 6 in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and is offering the tests at no cost.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends random asymptomatic COVID-19 testing because it detects and can limit the spread of the virus, even in the absence of visible symptoms," the letter reads. "Currently, students 11 years and under are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a significant reason for focusing our COVID screening test for this student population."

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The screening test requires that families "opt-in" and consent for students to be tested. MCPS says a random sample of students in the above grades will be identified and tested on a weekly basis with parental consent.

Testing is anticipated to begin the week of September 13.