Fayetteville School District hosts 2-day testing event


This week, the district offered a mobile testing center after more than 100 students were forced to quarantine last week.

Editor Note: All video with “File” in the upper left corner was previously recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There are now 17 active cases of COVID-19 in Fayetteville Public Schools.

This week, the district offered a mobile testing center after more than 100 students were forced to quarantine last week.

But a spokesperson tells KNWA/Fox 24 barely anyone showed up to get tested.

Out of the two days of testing, only eight people received a COVID-19 test.

Dr. Gary Berner with Community Clinic, who put on the event, said this could be for a number of reasons.

“Man we’ve been in it here in Northwest Arkansas,” he said. “We’ve had large numbers, we have unfortunately made national news for high rates.”

Dr. Berner said with the high number of COVID-19 cases we’ve seen in Northwest Arkansas, he’s not surprised we’re seeing it trickle into schools too.

“We really need to continue to find those people that may possibly have it who may be pre-symptomatic or a symptomatic,” he said.

In order to find those people, Fayetteville Public Schools put on a two-day testing event for student athletes and band members.

In a statement, District Spokesperson Alan Wilbourn said his team is in constant communication with organizations like the Arkansas Department of Health and the city’s Board of Health.

“Working with these partners, we have been evaluating various ways to provide testing opportunities for our students and staff,” he said.

But, this opportunity only brought in eight students.

Dr. Berner said, “Perhaps the information didn’t get out early enough, or maybe there was difficulty in getting signed up and then perhaps there was a stigma at play as well.”

Wilbourn said anyone tested had to quarantine for 3 to 4 days.

Dr. Berner stipulates that since this testing was geared specifically toward student athletes and band members, the kids didn’t want to miss out on Friday night lights.

“I certainly can look back at when I was 18 and there wasn’t much that could keep me that could keep me from going to my soccer game on a Friday night,” he said.

But he said teens need to remember they play a huge part in ending this pandemic.

There are currently 75 Fayetteville students in quarantine.

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