CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - As we see more COVID-19 outbreaks at schools across the Valley, Chandler Unified School District held a testing blitz Monday to try and get rapid tests to families and staff in the district. But that begs the question: where does the data go after that, and does the school district keep it?
Dozens of Chandler Unified families braved the heat to wait for a rapid COVID-19 test. “We’re worried about COVID and heatstroke at the same time,” said Tess Williams, who has a 6-year-old in the district. “Well, we’re getting the emails that say someone has tested positive,” said Brian Lamew, the dad of two vaccinated teens.
The district teamed up with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health to provide the 15-minute rapid tests, and it was vital for parents like Williams to be here, as she has a 6-year-old who isn’t eligible for the vaccine yet. “When she wakes up with any symptoms now, you have to get a test,” said Williams. “It is frustrating. I mean, I’m just hoping they will have a vaccine soon for younger children.”
According to Chandler Unified’s COVID-19 dashboard, they have 82 active cases of COVID-19 within the district. To put that in perspective, there are nearly 50,000 students and staff in the district.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine talked Monday about the recent rise in cases at school, and told the board of supervisors there are now 166 separate school outbreaks across the county. The county health department defines an outbreak as two or more cases on a campus.
“What this shows is there’s almost three times as many school outbreaks in August than there was compared to the peak in February,” said Sunenshine while showing a graph in the meeting.
With cases on campuses rising, testing events like the one in Chandler are needed. “I’m glad the school thought about providing these resources,” said Lamew. Chandler Unified told Arizona’s Family the district does not directly get the test results from these events because of HIPAA, but the schools do get notified of results from the county reporting team.