BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott visited schools throughout the city Tuesday morning as he helped distribute thousands of COVID-19 test kits and face masks.
His first stop? Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, his alma mater.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Warm Temperatures May Help Create A Severe Storm
Scott’s visits, which involved distributing 50,000 test kits and 40,000 masks, came the same day that three Baltimore City Public School shifted temporarily to virtual learning.
“This is the right thing to do,” Scott said. “This is us helping to supplement, this is us going into what I call critical need to help out.”
The mayor also underscored the importance of testing, even for those who don’t feel ill, likely because it’s easy for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 to go undetected.
“Continue to get tested even if you do not have symptoms,” he said.
The school visits also come as the school district has launched what’s known as a “test to stay” policy for elementary and middle school students and staff.READ MORE: Early Voting Wins Preakness Stakes Amid Record Temperatures
Under the policy, those in a positive test pool must test negative the next school day to stay in school.
The distribution of thousands of rapid COVID-19 tests to city schools means there will be tests on hand for students when a pool result comes back positive.
“This is just a way for us to make sure that our young people are safe and our students and our teachers and our staff are safe as we allow them to do the most important thing,” the mayor said.
The goal is to catch immediate results as soon as possible if someone tests positive for COVID-19, to keep students and staff in school instead of virtual learning.
“We know the school system has their own testing protocol and policy,” Scott said. “It’s also about making sure they can get these home … This is about helping with our community testing as well.”MORE NEWS: Ravens' Football Clinic Helps Children Improve Sports Skills
Residents in need of at-home COVID-19 test kits can stop by any of the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s locations on Saturday. Free test kits are also available for order from the federal government.