School divisions scurry to finalize rapid-testing rollout

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By Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

School gymnasiums and board offices across the province are being transformed into rapid-testing sites as divisions prepare for an influx of unvaccinated employees who will soon be subject to frequent COVID-19 checks.
School administrators are fine-tuning protocols to distribute Abbott PanBio or BD Veritor antigen test kits ahead of Oct. 18 — the day on which the testing policy takes effect for teachers, educational assistants, and other employees who do not provide their supervisors with proof of full immunization against the novel coronavirus.
“This is a significant undertaking for school divisions and it’s being taken very seriously. We want to make sure that it’s being done in a way that is as successful as possible, mindful that there are a lot of sensitivities and in some communities, tensions around it,” said Alan Campbell, president of the Manitoba School Boards Association.
Be they educators or bus drivers, division staffers who do not show their vaccine card or equivalent document by Monday will need to submit a negative test result that was taken within 48 hours of the start of their shift.
A minimum of one test must be self-administered under observation every week, while others can be taken at home.
Should any employee refuse the above options, they will have to go on an unpaid leave or face disciplinary action that could result in...continued

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