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School nurses in Hartford trained to conduct coronavirus tests

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    HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — School nurses for Hartford Public Schools have been trained to conduct coronavirus tests for symptomatic students.

Mayor Luke Bronin, superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez and Board of Education chairwoman Ayesha Clarke made the announcement as the city is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases.

Bronin said the city was already planning this testing before the rise in cases, but he also said it shows the need to stay vigilant, especially when it comes to keeping cases out of schools.

“We have seen an increase that we believe is manageable, but is still worth acknowledging,” Bronin said.

Hartford HealthCare and Trinity Health Of New England agreed to collect specimens and process the tests through their existing testing operations, city officials said.

Asymptomatic individuals will be offered testing through increased mobile testing events on school grounds through a partnership with federally qualified health centers, in addition to the dozen testing sites already operating in Hartford.

The state will pay for these tests for those without insurance.

In addition, Torres-Rodriguez and University of Connecticut School of Social Work dean Dr. Nina Heller will announce a new partnership to provide additional social-emotional and wellness support to Hartford Public Schools students and staff.

Torres-Rodriguez says cases remain low in schools with only 7 out of 18,000 students and 4 out of 3,200 staff members testing positive. She says if cases rise, the district could close schools.

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