Atlanta Public Schools gives more than 240,000 COVID tests since August

Atlanta Public Schools launched a COVID-19 surveillance testing program in February. BOB ANDRES/AJC FILE PHOTO

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Atlanta Public Schools launched a COVID-19 surveillance testing program in February. BOB ANDRES/AJC FILE PHOTO

More than 240,000 COVID-19 tests have been given to Atlanta Public Schools students and employees during the first three months of the school year.

From Aug. 2 through Oct. 29, the district’s surveillance testing program administered 240,237 tests, according to numbers released late last week by APS.

The total included 107,980 staff tests and 132,257 student tests. Of those, 1,050 tests were positive for COVID-19.

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The district began the testing program in February as schools reopened for in-person learning. It began as a voluntary initiative with the aim of identifying COVID-19 in those who may not be showing symptoms.

In September, the district started requiring employees to take the tests twice a week.

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Testing remains optional but encouraged for students.

APS officials are scheduled to provide an update at today’s school board meeting about the district’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

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The number of student and staff cases has been on the decline since late August. APS reported a total of 27 cases for the week ending Nov. 5. That number includes cases identified through surveillance testing as well as other cases reported to the district.