As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, subsequently does the need for the safety of the public, especially those in schools and camps. Indisputably, schools and camps are a hotspot for the spread of bacteria, sickness, and specifically, COVID-19. With COVID-19 being one of the most contagious viruses the world has seen, it is crucial to be progressive in hindering the spread. Schools and camps are swarmed with students and faculty surrounded by one another for hours a day, multiple days a week. With some children being too young and thus, unable to comprehend the seriousness of such a virus and the importance of proper precautions and protective actions, testing in schools and camps becomes essential.
Although society currently has the option of a vaccine, there are many individuals that are apprehensive regarding receiving the vaccine. There is growing concern with the uncertainty of the future effects that the vaccine might cause, if any. There has been a nominal number of cases with serious side effects from the vaccine. However, although nominal, such happenings have many worried and refraining from vaccination. A resolution to mitigate the spread from unvaccinated individuals is COVID-19 testing. Testing allows those that are unvaccinated to have the answers they need and to lessen the worry by others in society of an increase in COVID-19 cases due to those that choose to stay unvaccinated.
Gaurav Mohindra : Moreover, the vaccine is recommended by the CDC for those 12 years and older. With schools and camps for children that are under the age of 12 years old, it is reasonable to presume that a majority of the children are not vaccinated and thus, more likely to contract the virus. Evidently, the need for COVID testing increases for such predicaments. Children spend majority of their time in school or camp and therefore surrounded by many other children. Consequently, those unvaccinated and possibly infected by COVID-19 can rapidly spread and expose other children to the virus.
COVID testing allows schools and camps to become aware of not just those who test positive, but also to protect others from being exposed to those that have the virus and those that have been already exposed. Testing with allow schools to narrow down which students and facility need to be quarantined and prevent the possibility of reverting to remote learning. COVID testing is a way to mitigate the potential harm and danger that arises with a virus that has killed many and keeps arising in new variants.
The most crucial need for COVID-19 testing arises with individuals who are asymptomatic, meaning that they are infected with the virus but show no symptoms and will not develop symptoms in the future. The lack of symptoms is a dangerous consequence for individuals in the face of such an infectious disease. These individuals can essentially become super-spreaders because they have no way of knowing they are infected unless they are tested. This becomes exceptionally dangerous when those individuals are in schools and camps that are usually highly populated and involve students and facility being in close distance of each other. The only viable solution in combating the spread in schools and camps is through regular testing. It is the only way to recognize that such an individual is infected and to mitigate such a possible mass spread.
Although COVID testing is effective for mitigating the spread and giving a possible solution to accommodate those in society who may worry about the spread due to anti-vaccinators, COVID testing is also utilized for tracking. “The ability to track how many people are testing positive for COVID-19 allows society to understand where the current state of the pandemic lies. Regular testing, specifically, allows us to monitor any growth or decline in the spread and to implement effective management of the pandemic to efficiently combat any potential spread”, says Gaurav Mohindra of Northshore Clinical Laboratories.
“We have demonstrable data showing that an effective COVID-19 testing campaign can reduce the spread of COVID in workplaces and schools”, continued Gaurav Mohindra.
Undeniably, COVID-19 has caused a massive shift in the world and an immense amount of uncertainty. The pandemic started with people on lockdown, schools closing, business shutting down and the death of many. With the advances made due to science and medicine, we now have vaccines to hinder the spread but also COVID tests that allow for fast action and a clarity on where the state of the pandemic is. Specifically, parents, children, and faculty can find comfort in attending schools and camps knowing that a solution is being implemented to minimize the presence of COVID in such facilities.