Fresno Unified starting surveillance testing their faculty and staff as hundreds return to campus

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — This week Fresno Unified will welcome back hundreds of students back on campus as they continue holding small cohorts on campus. 

Bob Nelson, the Superintendent of Fresno Unified, said because they will be bringing students back on campus, they will need to start surveillance testing random faculty and staff for COVID-19.

“Today we are pleased to announce our partnership with United Health Centers of the San Joaquin valley who will be providing random surveillance testing for our FUSD staff,” said Nelson. 

Nelson although they will be surveillance testing if someone feels like they have been exposed or may have COVID-19 they should still get tested.

“Please note that this testing protocol that we have established does not replace for folks to do their test if they are showing symptoms or were deemed a close contact of COVID-19,” said Nelson. 

The Fresno County Health Department requires COVID-19 testing for all school districts that are offering in-person instruction. 

Nelson said next week they will start their first round of surveillance testing 10% of their staff who are on campus. 

Viva Islas is a Fresno Unified Board Trustee. Islas said the district is moving in the right direction. 

“We are in a really exciting time because this is indicative of us getting back to some normalcy setting up these protocols and procedures is going to eventually allow us to ramp up and test more,” said Islas. 

Along with working with county health officials to get teachers vaccinated if they chose to be.

“We are not going to compel people across the threshold to vaccination, but I think you will find, and we will find that a vast majority of people want to and wanted to yesterday and a vast majority of feedback we are getting is that it’s not happening soon enough,” said Nelson. 

Nelson also said in the next two weeks they will have about 400 more teachers back in the classroom. 

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