District to participate in UW COVID-19 study

February 16, 2021 - The Snohomish School District is partnering with the University of Washington (UW) in its research project to gain insights into the transmission of COVID-19 in classrooms. The project provides free COVID-19 testing for in-person learning students in grades kindergarten through 2nd grade, as well as current, onsite staff working with special education and preschool through 6th grade students. This program is voluntary and only those families and staff who want to participate are encouraged to do so. It is slated to begin Monday, February 22, and will continue through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. 

“We are thrilled to be a part of this testing partnership with the University of Washington,” said Kent Kultgen, Superintendent of the Snohomish School District. “This project allows our students and staff participating in in-person learning to be routinely tested for COVID-19. This project gives our students, staff and their families peace of mind by providing timely results.  In addition, this rapid personal testing model will enable our health partners to quickly contact trace those who have had contact with those who test positive.”

The UW’s Dr. Helen Chu said the goal is to gain knowledge about how the virus may be transmitted in schools, especially by asymptomatic children. The study will be conducted between February and June, through regular symptom monitoring and weekly volunteer testing of children and school staff.

“I am confident that with the design of this study and the participants, we will learn a great deal about the transmission of the virus,” Chu said. “This information will be invaluable to policy makers and administrators of health and education systems on the state and local levels, as they make decisions on when and how students may return to in-classroom instruction.” 

The study is being conducted by the Seattle Flu Study group, which includes faculty and staff from the Brotman Baty Institute; UW Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences; Seattle Children’s Hospital; and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

To learn more and for additional information, please visit www.sno.wednet.edu/reopening/testingstudy.