BALTIMORE (WJZ) — School is a little over a month away from starting and the state is looking to help local school districts foot the bill for COVID-19 testing.
With covid cases surging and the delta variant spreading, parents are backing the state’s proposal for covid-19 testing at school campuses statewide for the upcoming school year.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Positivity Rate Has Reached Over 3%
“I would be all for it to be honest with you,” Matt Ristau, parent. “With the covid testing, it really does add that extra layer of security for us.”
State officials with the health and education departments said a total of $182 million from the CDC will fund routine testing in Maryland K-12 public and private schools.
Right now, a covid vaccine has still not been approved for kids under the age of 12 and with cases among children rising and growing concerns over the highly contagious delta variant, officials said it’s important to prevent the spread inside the classroom.
“[It’s] just another tool in the tool kit of combating covid. It’s not over yet as much as we would like it to be,” said Jon Weinstein with the Maryland Department of Health.
This comes as school districts statewide are deciding whether to uphold other covid-19 safety protocols this fall.READ MORE: Pedestrian Struck On Crain Highway
Last year, Baltimore City Schools were among the few school systems doing campus covid-19 testing and so far this year, they’re the only school system requiring masks in classrooms if students are vaccinated or not.
“Testing is critical particularly in settings like a school setting where people are in close proximity just to ensure we don’t have spread,” said Weinstein.
Parents said they hope this can help put the pandemic in the past and keep the focus on their children’s future.
“That would be a positive. That way if there is a situation, it can be caught early on instead of spreading to a whole group” said Matt Urso, parent.
The state said they just started accepting applications a few days ago for that funding are still awaiting applicants.MORE NEWS: Andrew Beavers, Son Of Cybersecurity Executive Juanita Koilpillai, Arrested For Her Murder