Students and parents have until Oct. 27 to opt-in or opt-out of the program.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system will be acting as pilots for a COVID-19 testing program.

Students at Pittsburgh Concord and Pittsburgh Weil were sent home with a letter on Wednesday saying that the COVID-19 pool testing would be optional.

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In the program, students will swab their noses and then wait for the results by the end of the next day. If negative, then no problem. If positive, both the students and their close contacts will quarantine. Testing will start on Nov. 1.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services Rodney Neccaia said this is just another layer of mitigation against COVID-19.

Those who opt-in will be tested, and it will allow the school to act quickly, rather than waiting on the virus to spread.

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But test results are not based on just one individual. For example, in a classroom, all voluntary tests are submitted for one mass test and if positive, students will be tested again individually.

“We are looking at the positive cases that have come our way and the contact tracing we have to do and add another layer and not sit back and wait and find out. I think is exciting for us, in terms of our proactive ability to keep kids safe,” Neccaia said.

Neccaia said the goal is to eventually open this program to all schools in the district.

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Students and parents have until Oct. 27 to opt-in or opt-out of the program.