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In-school coronavirus testing underway at Saskatchewan campuses

The roll-out of the Saskatchewan Health Authority's voluntary in-school coronavirus testing began Wednesday in Regina at Campbell Collegiate, with more than 250 students signing up in advance to be swabbed.
The roll-out of the Saskatchewan Health Authority's voluntary in-school coronavirus testing began Wednesday in Regina at Campbell Collegiate, with more than 250 students signing up in advance to be swabbed. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

The rollout of voluntary in-school coronavirus testing is underway in Saskatchewan, with about 18 per cent of the student body at the first school on the list providing advanced consent.

Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) workers were onsite at Campbell Collegiate in Regina on Wednesday to conduct swabbing.

The SHA says more than 250 of the approximately 1,400 students who attend the school responded prior to the date, subscribing to the process.

Read more: Drive-thru coronavirus testing being rolled out in Saskatchewan

“While we know that the number of people who have consented to in school testing does not represent the entire schools population, it is important to note that this testing is on a voluntary basis,” the health authority said in email statement Wednesday afternoon.

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The authority added there are other options available, such as the referral-based, appointment-only testing centres and first-come, first-serve drive-thru sites.

On Thursday in Saskatoon, the SHA will be conducting voluntary in-school testing at Holy Cross High School, where a coronavirus case was reported earlier in the week.

Read more: Positive coronavirus case at Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon

More than 550 students or 43 per cent of that school’s population of approximately 1,300 have given advanced consent, according to the health authority.

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On Friday, swabbing is scheduled for Carlton Collegiate in Prince Albert. The SHA says 90 students have given advance consent.

Global News has contacted Carlton Collegiate to confirm the number of attending students and is awaiting a response.

Click to play video 'Drive-thru coronavirus testing being rolled out in Saskatchewan' Drive-thru coronavirus testing being rolled out in Saskatchewan
Drive-thru coronavirus testing being rolled out in Saskatchewan

The health authority says arrangements are in place to test those who have consented.

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“We will also use this as an opportunity to provide education and respond to questions students or staff may have on testing for COVID-19,” the SHA said in its email statement, adding a reminder that students should not attend school if they are feeling ill or if anyone in living in their home has tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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