District Outlines COVID Testing Protocols for South Orange-Maplewood Students

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As students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District return to in-person instruction late next week, they will not face any mandatory COVID-19 testing schedules, but will, however, be tested for the virus on an as-needed based related to symptoms, travel or exposure.

The school district will also provide access to weekly testing mobile labs in the Columbia High School parking lot through the end of October.

The district announced the protocols in a 14-minutes video with powerpoint presentation on August 30 (see below). The video featured Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Taylor, District Head of Nursing Julie Porter and Maplewood Health Officer Candice Davenport.

Per Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 253, all public school district employees — including teachers — must get vaccinated. However, those who seek exemptions for medical or religious reasons must undergo weekly testing.

In a followup email, District Director of Communications Anide Eustache confirmed that,”as per the governor’s recent Executive Order 253, there is a requirement that all public-school districts, charter schools, parochial schools, and private school employees be fully vaccinated or submit to COVID testing at a minimum of one or two times per week. As mentioned in previous communications the District is working to partner with Mobile testing/vaccinations clinics to provide testing and vaccination resources to our school community (the details are still being worked out). District staff (unvaccinated and/or vaccinated) will have the convenience of accessing any onsite testing/vaccination resources for their testing needs or they can choose to be tested at any other testing location.”

The district reports that all information regarding the return to school for Fall 2021 can be found here: https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/uncategorized/2021/08/04/fall-2021-safe-return-to-school/

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