Parent leaders calling on BPS to implement practical COVID testing strategy

Want rapid testing to help ease kids back into buildings

BUFFALO (WBEN) - Parent leaders are looking to the community for help in implementing a testing strategy that will make families comfortable sending their children back to school.

Members of the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization gathered outside of City Hall Monday afternoon to share their concerns as well as their suggestions.

"We called the press conference today in order to call upon the local business community, and most particularly the health insurance companies, to step up and help provide rapid turnaround COVID-19 testing in order to get kids back into schools in Buffalo," said Rachel Fix-Dominguez, a co-chair of the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization.

But what would such a system look like?

For example, the organization is calling on children that are most in need of a return to school to be allowed back into buildings first - special education students, English-language learners, as well as K-3rd graders.

"Let's say our goal is November to send kids in the building," began Keith Jones, an executive board member of the BPTO. "Prior to them going into the building, we need a list of the kids that are going into the building and have them tested before they go in the building.

"Now once they get back into the building, twice a month you test what's in that building," Jones continued. "Now, when you bring in the 4th grade, they have to be tested before they come into that building, but once you're in that building, you're getting tested twice a month."

"We're interested, not in taking up massive amounts of resources, but in offering what we think is a practical science-based solution to getting kids back into in-person hybrid learning while the pandemic continues," added Fix-Dominguez.