Lake Charles College Prep is first Calcasieu school to offer weekly COVID testing

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:20 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles College Prep is the first school in Calcasieu Parish to invite LSU-Shreveport to administer weekly COVID-19 testing for staff and students.

“Today is the start. It’s the beginning. It’s an opportunity to continue throughout the school year,” said Charter School Superintendent Henry Mancuso.

Mancuso said he’s excited to begin testing to ensure that students are coming to school healthy.

“We have to keep our kids in the classroom,”Mancuso said.

“That’s the goal, to keep them in class and keep our school open,” said school nurse GeMar Braxton. “I think it’s very important because we need bodies in a seat.”

Braxton is also the COVID coordinator for the school. She said partnering with LSU-S for the federal testing program was an easy decision.

The federal program offers an incentive to participate in the weekly testing: $25 for the first test and $10 for each successive test.

“It is completely voluntary. Schools have to elect to participate, and then parents have to elect for their children to participate. No one would be made to test,” said Dr. Jennifer Deason with LSU-S.

Though some may be weary about it, Dr. Deason said the test is nothing to be afraid of.

“It’s not very invasive. It’s very quick, and it keeps a good radar on the health of the school. I’m pretty passionate about kids needing to be in school learning rather than virtual,” Deason said.

She adds over 3,000 students in Regions 5 through 8 have been tested in the last week. Of those, the positivity rate is only one percent.

Administrators at Lake Charles College Prep said that offering vaccines at the school could very well happen, and soon.

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