Parent Update on COVID-19 Screening (10/26/20)

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Dear St. Francis Parent Community,

I would like to thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we continue to navigate our return to school plan and implementation of our COVID screening with the Immunify reporting system. 

On Friday, October 23, close to 600 students and faculty/staff were screened between 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. While Dr. Oshita, Dr. Williams, and I were pleased overall, there were some inherent delays caused by some unscheduled appointments and traffic congestion. After the initial baseline testing, it will not be possible to just drive or walk-up to get screened. It will be paramount that appointments be made ahead of time via the Urgent Care Now website.  Otherwise, you may be asked to pull out of the line, and reschedule for another day. 

We know all of you that participated in the screening last Friday have been waiting anxiously for your results, as they should have been uploaded to the Immunify application within 24-48 hours. Unfortunately, due to a LabCorp processing issue, neither Urgent Care Now, Immunify, nor faculty/staff of St. Francis Catholic High School received the lab results in the expected time frame. 

Immuify’s team has been checking every hour all night for these results and as of 6:00 a.m. on 10/26/20, they still did not have our results. Dr. Williams contacted their lab and regional managers early this morning, but they were unable to get the specimens processed any faster.  We know this is upsetting and disappointing, leaving many to question whether or not we should continue testing regularly or using a LabCorp PCR model.  

In speaking with Dr. Williams and Dr. Oshita, they too are extremely disappointed with LabCorp missing this deadline. In the past, LabCorp has consistently met this turnaround time for RT-PCR samples. We talked this morning with their leadership team, and we found that they had not marked the specimens appropriately. They were run in the normal line.  Their regional manager has assured me that we will have lab results by the end of the day and will not have problems going forward. If, however, we are unable to get a consistent turnaround time from LabCorp, we will reassess the PCR model, as well as consider alternative PCR vendors with more timely processing times.  

We remain confident that regular testing with an app-based solution is the safest way for students to reintegrate responsibly into school. The science behind this method of reintegration is growing exponentially every day.  The Urgent Care Now physicians and Immunify developers are committed to assisting the Saint Francis community in finding the best path forward. They acknowledge and apologize sincerely for the uncertainty that this has introduced into your lives.

Even with the delay of our test results, I made the decision to proceed with the reopening of the school and honor our sophomore class with their return to campus as promised. I asked Dr. Williams to be present this morning at 7:00 a.m., so he could assist us in doing active screening of our students per county health guidelines, checking for COVID-like symptoms, and taking temperature readings of every student before they walked onto campus.

I am looking forward to a smoother and more routine process moving forward, and I appreciate all of your continued communication, support, and encouragement. 

I look forward to seeing our juniors and seniors (with a parent/legal guardian if they are under 18 years of age) going through the screening process later this afternoon. 

In the spirit of peace and goodness,

Elias Mendoza
Principal