Northshore School District to test K-12 students weekly for COVID

Bothell High School sign

BOTHELL, Wash. — Starting Monday, students in grades K-12 in the Northshore School District will start getting tested weekly for COVID-19.

This “batch” testing program will be done whether the students are symptomatic or not. Everyone in a classroom or cohort will put their test samples together in a batch vial with no names or personally identifiable information, the district explains. The district says it did similar testing last spring.

“To minimize time away from the classroom, we are arranging for next-day confirmatory testing at Pop Keeney Stadium for any student whose classroom/cohort batch has a positive result,” the superintendent explained in an email.

The district says testing is a good way to keep COVID cases low and school buildings open. Families do have the option to opt out of the batch testing, but they could still be required to quarantine if their classroom has a positive test result.

Northshore School District also keeps a COVID-19 Dashboard that’s updated daily. Since Aug. 1, there have been 76 confirmed positive student cases and 17 in staff. A “confirmed positive” only includes individuals with a lab-confirmed positive test.

In addition, there have been 525 other quarantined students since Aug. 1, which includes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms but no positive test, individuals who are quarantining after travel, and individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who recently had close contact with someone with COVID-19. The district states that much of the quarantine data is self-reported.

Northshore School District will be offering on-campus vaccine clinics for students ages 12 and older through a partnership with the Shoreline Fire Department, starting this week.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.