Testing Takes Precedence: New District Policies Enforce COVID-19 Precautions


Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public schools implements new district policies to mitigate rising Covid-19 cases.

With the recent surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant and return to in-person school, it is more important than ever to prioritize health precautions, both in and out of NAHS. Viral solutions is now offering bi-weekly rapid testing for all consented students and staff, making it easy to ensure a safe and healthy school environment. Atlanta Public Schools is continuing to work with North Atlanta Administration to enforce evolving COVID policies and urging students to put the health of themselves and their community first. 

Students who are required to be tested need to be aware of consent to test forms, available on the North Atlanta App. Atlanta Public Schools has required mandatory testing for staff since the beginning of the school year, but is now enforcing bi-weekly student athlete testing in order to maintain low case numbers in light of mask-optional practice policies. “Student-athlete testing is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Business Administrator Meredith Kaltman. “With only 306 out of the 854 consented students being tested on a daily basis, the district and North Atlanta are encouraging students to support the increasing testing need.”

Administration has sourced 4 viral solutions teams, arriving every Monday and Wednesday during third period classes. Testing teams are responsible for covering floor plans during the period, and are stationed in the main lobby following their third period rounds to ensure all students have the opportunity to test. If you are not a student-athlete, the district urges you to consent to test bi-weekly and contribute to COVID-19 mitigation strategies on a regular basis. “With over 2,200 students in the building, it is essential that testing numbers rise with the recent surge in cases,” said Kaltman. “The protection of our students and faculty is of utmost importance, and testing provides a direct outlet to a safe learning environment.”

An additional health precaution is one students are well aware of: daily health checks. A clear HealthCheck app questionnaire is required of students who wish to enter the building in the mornings. Students are asked to respond yes or no to surveillance questions relating to exposure, symptoms and recent tests. The app serves the purpose of allowing students and families to monitor daily symptoms and health prior to entering the school building. It is up to the individual to determine whether their condition deems them fit to be present at school. “Although the health checks can be monotonous, they are a useful tool to monitor ever-changing COVID-19 exposure,” said junior Sarah Anne Hamilton. “Additional measures taken on a daily basis ensure a safe student body.”

It is now more than ever that North Atlanta needs student participation on the COVID-19 front. Adapting to public health mitigation policies requires student, faculty, and parent participation in order to see effective change. Student-athletes, staff, and all Dubs alike are needed to support the safety of our building in these uncertain times. After all, we’re all in this together.