UAB, state agencies launch free COVID-19 testing program for Alabama schools

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(WHNT) — UAB’s School of Public Health is joining with two state agencies to provide free COVID-19 testing for Alabama’s K-12 schools.

Formed in coordination with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and Alabama State Department of Education (ASDE), the program will test students, faculty, and staff members who are asymptomatic on a voluntary basis.

The program will only provide testing for those who have provided consent or for students whose parents have given consent.

“The goal of the program is to support and maintain in-person learning for K-12 schools and minimize interruption in the educational environment,” said Martha Wingate, DrPH, the program’s principal investigator and chair of the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy at the school of public health.

The team at UAB will work with local school systems to individualize plans for each school’s needs.

The voluntary program comes as students return to in-person learning amid a spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“Ultimately, testing is an important way to maintain a safe learning environment and protect the students, teachers, staff, those they go home to every day and the broader community,” Wingate continued.

School districts interested in the program may learn more here.

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