NEW ORLEANS — "We know how to do this, we did it together, and we will do it again," said Orleans Parish Superintendent, Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. at a press conference Wednesday morning.
As the new school year draws near NOLA school board is reinforcing COVID safety measures and resources.
"Every shot counts," Superintendent Dr. Lewis said.
Though the board is not requiring vaccinations they encourage everyone to get the shot to, as COVID survivor and Warren Easton band director, Asia Muhaimin, so eloquently put, keep the music going.
"How can we assure that the music of our students doesn't go silent, we must mask up, socially distance and get vaccinated," Muhamin said.
NOLA public schools will continue to offer mobile vaccination sites on select dates and at the beginning of august the district will provide ongoing school based testing.
"Our other line of defense is ongoing testing," said NOLA Chief Operations Officer, Tiffany Delcour.
At Wednesday's press conference, Delcour announced the launching of additional testing resources that will be provided to all schools.
Starting in September, schools will offer weekly nasal testing, offering financial incentives to those who get tested every time they are tested.
Funded by the CDC and the American Rescue Plan, schools will also receive financial incentives for participation.
"After safety, our most important measure of issue is to ensure that students stay in school," said NOLA PS school board president Ethan Ashley.
A sentiment that was reiterated multiple times on Wednesday.
The board said they don't intend to return to the virtual classroom, but everyone has to remember to:
- wear a mask
- social distance
- get vaccinated
- tested as soon as possible
"We can truly conquer this pandemic and keep our students in schools. But, again, we have to do this together," said Superintendent Dr. Lewis.
The school board said they will continue to track vaccination rates and they do have a plan in place in case of an outbreak.
Again, the school board is not mandating vaccines, but it is leaving the door open for each charter school operator to make its own decision on that.
As far as the monetary rewards for testing, how much money each person and the participating schools will receive has not yet been determined.
You can find out more details about this initiative and NOLA public school's COVID safety measures by stopping by their website.