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School staff should be tested before return

DEAR EDITOR:

Many thanks to the staff and health care people who worked at the MYCAP testing site last week. I’m one of 700-plus people tested there. I’m not expecting to test positive, but I felt it important to be tested. I will soon be returning to my job driving a school bus locally.

I checked with my employer and was told that most likely school staff would not be tested. Why? Just checking temperature can miss asymptomatic sick people. Maybe the employee isn’t even aware he / she has been exposed. For most schools, we have been away from our students and staff since March. We can’t assume everyone has not possibly been exposed.

Our children will obviously be checked daily for temperature and general heath. It would be bad if our staff exposes them unknowingly. Staff members already are at risk daily to whatever illnesses children bring to school. I believe anything we can do to eliminate any community spreading is paramount to successfully reopening our schools.

I belong to a high-risk group: senior citizen, diabetic and living with an immune-compromised senior. I can’t risk getting COVID-19. I will return to work, but once a case is reported at my school, I’ll need to seriously consider quitting. I’m sure our teachers, cafeteria employees, custodians and office staff feel it’s important to reopen, but safely.

I think all staff members should be tested prior to opening.

STEVEN A. TOMPKINS

Poland

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