CORAL SPRINGS, FL- Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie made a public plea Tuesday to make more rapid coronavirus testing available for students and staff as a condition for reopening schools for in-person learning as early as this fall.

In a new video, he said his school district continues to lobby for additional funding for the availability of rapid testing.

"Our children are depending on us. We owe it to them and future generations. Let's get it done for their sake," Runcie said.

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Broward County schools are set to start on Aug. 19 as all-virtual learning. He said the district will watch the virus spread and will revisit when to reopen schools for in-person learning on Oct. 1 if not sooner.

"Public health experts and infectious disease physicians recommend that children not go to school until the positive test rate is 3-5 percent over a rolling two-week average. Our local positive test rate is still averaging close to 10 percent, which is significantly higher than the recommended range to consider reopening schools," he said.

Runcie said three key steps need to occur for the transition to in-person learning:

1) Control the spread of the pandemic.

2) Develop protocols that provide for health and safety of students, teachers, and staff.

3) Provide funding to cover significant shortfalls in revenue to pay for the required protocols and measures.

"All of us desperately want our schools to open for face-to-face learning," Runcie said. "We know how important the work of this district is in meeting the critical needs of our students and families.”


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