Portage Central graduation to require COVID tests

Although the ceremony will be outdoors, the district is requiring COVID tests before seniors can walk.

Seniors at Portage Central High School are getting ready to graduate. But before they receive their diplomas and walk across the stage, the students will have one more test they’ll have to take: For COVID-19.

The school has announced that all graduates will have to receive a negative result on a rapid COVID-19 test before they will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. That has some students – and parents – on edge.

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Students who have been vaccinated won’t have to be tested. Neither will graduation attendees. In addition, PCHS may be the only school in the area requiring the tests.

But PCHS isn’t like other schools. It has been the site of several COVID-19 outbreaks over recent months. PCHS Principal Eric Alburtus said the testing requirement applies to all big events.

“It was a commitment from us whenever we had a big event to use the rapid test protocols to make sure our kids are safe,” he told WWMT.

Opponents of the rule point out that the graduation ceremony is already being held outdoors, limiting the chance of viral transmission.

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