Transcript for Utah parents reportedly against COVID-19 testing in school
cover story. As the pandemic continues, some parents in Utah reportedly think that less coronavirus testing could keep schools open and are discouraging other parents from getting their kids tested. Now, Stephanie Ramos has that story. Reporter: It's called the mom code. An unwritten written agreement among some moms to avoid testing their kids for covid-19 in an effort to keep schools open and sports teams running. I heard about mom code probably over a month ago. Reporter: Heather Bremner is a parent at the Davis school district outside of Salt Lake City. Virus rates are skyrocketing in Utah. The state setting a record this week with more than 1,500 new cases and a 15% positivity rate. Still, some parents reportedly want schools to remain open despite the risk. Moms are kind of deciding together that, hey, we're not going to have our kids tested for covid. Reporter: She says the concept is spreading in local parent groups on Facebook. Some of the online posts reading, stay home, don't get tested. If your child shows covid symptoms, keep them home, but do not test. So if there is a quarantine with a sports team or with any of the other classrooms, they're encouraging each other not to have their children tested. Reporter: The Utah department of health tells ABC news, we are aware of discussions among parents discouraging testing for their children in an effort to suppress detection of positive cases. It's difficult to determine if this talk is actually turning into action. Testing is a critical element of our response. Identifying cases is a key strategy to limiting the spread of disease in our communities. Stephanie Ramos, ABC news, new York. Now the school district in our story has not yet responded to our request for more information. Now we are joined by Dr. Larry Corey, a virologist at the Fred Hutchison cancer research center. Thanks so much for being with us this morning. Thank you, Eva. What do you say to those people who think that not testing is the best way to keep schools open? Well, not testing is not the solution to re-opening schools. You know, re-opening schools is certainly a national priority for us working in the vaccine field, but frequent testing allows rapid identification of children with covid and their restriction from school and sports activities, and this containment actually reduces the rapid spread. We've created the technologies to do a point of care rapid testing, the type of frequent testing that can actually start to contain outbreaks and move to opening more schools and keeping them open. You know, parents have been so worried about this. As a parent, if you find out if this is happening in your area, what should you do? Well, I think parents need to alert their school district and their public health authorities in the area. You know, besides addressing the immediate issues of contact tracing for mass screening of kids and school staff, public health agencies can help educate communities and dispel myths about the virus. We also have therapies, monoclonal antibodies and the antiviral remdesivir that if given early can be used to identify those who have covid-19 and can reduce the disease progression. Dr. Corey, thank you so much for your time. Let's switch gears now and
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