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North Cross COVID-19 testing underway

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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ROANOKE Co., Va. (WDBJ) - North Cross will be returning to school in the midst of a pandemic.

“I’m very concerned, but I’m also reassured by the fact that we’re doing everything that we can possibly do to reopen in a safe way,” said North Cross Head of School Christian Proctor.

The private school is testing all its nearly 500 students, plus faculty and staff, for COVID-19.

Not just ahead of the school year, but three times within the first month of school, and on a regimented schedule throughout the entire year.

“It’s important for kids to resume some sort of structure, and being able to provide that in the safest manner possible, for the longest period of time, hopefully is what our testing will help with,” said school nurse Pamela Haskins.

Haskins has already begun testing faculty and staff.

All staffers will complete their first tests by August 24, and all students will be tested for the first time August 31 and September 1 via staggered drive-thru appointments.

“It’s just right inside the nose, it’s the minimal invasive piece, which will be much easier on our students,” said Haskins.

Proctor knows testing is not the end all-be all when it comes to COVID-19 safety: “I look at the testing that we’re doing, it’s not going to prevent us getting a positive case on our campus, you just can’t do that in the world that we’re living in right now.”

Rather, it’s just one part of a multi-faceted approach.

Everyone will be required to wear masks, temperatures will be taken daily, and students or their parents will fill out a survey each day questioning whether COVID-19 symptoms are present.

The goal, according to Haskins, is to catch any positive cases before they lead to major outbreaks: “We are very focused on the safety and health of our entire community: our faculty, our staff, our students.”

North Cross has also established a Medical Advisory Group to review any positive cases and ensure the school is following proper health and safety protocols.

The first day of school is set for September 8.

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