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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) announced Thursday evening that they are offering COVID-19 testing to all students, families, and staff in the feeder pattern or vertical that ends with Northwest Classen High School.

Schools in that vertical are Northwest Classen, Taft Middle School, Taft 5th Grade Center at Linwood, Kaiser, Buchanan, Mark Twain, Hawthorne and Cleveland. 

The free testing will be held Monday, May 24th through Thursday, May 27th from 9am to 3:30pm at Taft 5th Grade Center at Linwood, which is located at 3416 NW 17th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.

No sign up is required but a consent form will have to be signed by a parent or legal guardian who must be present when the shot is administered.

The testing will be in the parking lot with the saliva test being used. District officials say that if you believe you have been exposed you must wait five days before being tested to ensure an accurate test. If you have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms the district encourages you to come and be tested for confirmation.

Outbreak

This comes after Taft Middle School and the satellite 5th Grade Center at Linwood were closed for the remainder of the school year to stop further spread of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday morning, district officials said contact tracers had identified “a total of 9 positive cases at Taft Middle School, which have resulted in close to 150 close contacts. Please note that these numbers only include positive cases that have been reported to OKCPS and confirmed with a COVID-19 test.”

Our first report about Taft Middle School closing:  COVID hits OKCPS again – Taft Middle School closed for remainder of year

Then, Thursday district contact tracers reported one positive student at Northwest Classen with two others in that building reporting close contact with an infected person.

District officials also reported Thursday that contact tracers reported one close contact in Buchanan Elementary and one close contact in Mark Twain Elementary.

This is our updated report from earlier Thursday: More details surface about OKCPS Taft Middle School closing

Strength becomes threat

The strength of having a vertical with nearby elementaries and middle schools ending up in a central neighborhood high school is the connection of brothers and sisters having the tradition of ending up in the same high school.

But, in the case of COVID-19, that strength is a source of concern as the threat of the virus spreading within families and then taken into schools up and down the vertical has become a possibility.

Message to families

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday OKCPS sent out the following email message to families in the Northwest Classen vertical:

“OKCPS Families, 

OKCPS is offering COVID-19 testing at no cost for students and their families from NW Classen High School and the Taft feeder pattern which includes Taft Middle School, Taft 5th Grade Center, Kaiser, Buchanan, Mark Twain, Hawthorne and Cleveland. 

Testing will be available Monday, May 24th through Thursday, May 27th from 9am to 3:30pm at Taft 5th Grade Center at Linwood (3416 NW 17th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73107). There is no sign-up required and testing will be administered in the parking lot from your vehicle. A consent form is required and will be made available when you arrive. A legal parent or guardian must be present for a student to be tested. The test being administered is a saliva test. Results take a minimum of 48 hours to come back and will be shared via email. 

If you or your child have been exposed to COVID-19, you should wait 5 days before being tested. If you believe you’ve been exposed or are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, we encourage you to come and be tested. Public safety protocols ask that you stay home and isolate until you receive your test results. 

If you have any questions, please call the Taft Middle School at (405) 587-8000.”


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Last Updated May 20, 2021, 7:22 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor