Skip to main content
Full Menu
Editorials

COVID tests for adults

New York Teacher

In-school COVID-19 testing is an essential component of the protocols that keep our schools safe. It’s our early warning system to detect the virus before it has a chance to spread inside a school building.

With the number of COVID-19 cases across the city on the rise, breakthrough infections among vaccinated people increasing and the threat of the new omicron variant, in-school testing of only unvaccinated students was clearly not enough.

That’s why the UFT called on the city to resume testing vaccinated adults in school buildings. The city heard us and responded with a voluntary plan: Beginning on Dec. 6, staff members can request a COVID-19 test on the school’s testing day. Up to 10% of the staff can be tested as long as student testing has been completed and the testing providers can do staff testing within their scheduled window at the school. School staff must give their consent one time — at least three school days before the first date when they want to be tested.

Even before the emergence of omicron, the frequency of breakthrough cases among vaccinated people was changing the calculus on in-school testing. Vaccines might make COVID illnesses short and mild among the vaccinated, but a mild case could be fatal to someone who is immunocompromised. 

So we need to take every precaution. Getting the vaccine and booster shot, and wearing masks in school buildings, remain imperative.

Related Topics: Coronavirus